29/01/2020 | Michelle Lensink MLC | Carolyn Power MP | Better Services

More women and children fleeing domestic and family violence in their homes will be safe and supported in 40 new domestic violence crisis accommodation beds, with the first eight now open in Northern Adelaide delivering a $4 million Marshall Government commitment.

The crisis beds will provide safe and supported accommodation to women and children in situations when it is not safe to stay at home.

A total of 40 new beds will be opening, including:

* A total of 31 beds for women and children.

* Of the 40, eight beds are open in Northern Adelaide, with six beds in Southern Adelaide set to open next month.

* 17 beds in the regions including Eyre and Western, Murray and Hills and the Limestone Coast.

* Nine beds dedicated to a perpetrator crisis accommodation pilot, to commence in the first half of 2020, following feedback from the sector.

Minister for Human Services said the new crisis accommodation would ensure more women and children fleeing domestic violence situations have somewhere safe to go.

“The scourge of domestic violence is a national disgrace and the Liberal Govenrment is committed to do whatever we can to ensure women living in a violent or abusive relationship are better able to access immediate support and safety,” said Minister Lensink.

“Our $4 million commitment delivers much-needed crisis beds for people experiencing domestic and family violence and it’s not safe to stay at home.

“Women will be provided with short-term accommodation, with dedicated case managers to support them into safe and stable housing, including returning safely to home, where possible.

“In additional to crisis accommodation for women and children and following direct feedback from the sector and the community, a total of nine beds will be used for a state-first perpetrator intervention pilot.

“The pilot allows partners and families to remain in the family home, if safe to do so, and results in less disruption in their lives in what is an already very traumatic time.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said “the trial is an opportunity to explore what interventions might work best as perpetrators will have an opportunity to engage with support services to help them change their behaviour.”

“Support services will provide oversight of the perpetrator to ensure the safety of women and their children,” said Mrs Power.

“Following a series of roundtables we conducted across South Australia, the mix of the 40 new crisis accommodation beds are being placed in areas of greatest need as a result of the feedback we received.”

Support services in metropolitan Adelaide will be provided through the Women’s Safety Services of South Australia (WSSSA).

WSSSA CEO Maria Hagias said clients will be provided with post-crisis support, including counselling, financial counselling, assistance with income support, and linking in with health and other related services.

“By providing safe accommodation, a high level of support and housing pathways, we hope to see women and children spending fewer nights in emergency accommodation,” said Ms Hagias.