The first allocation of money from a total $260 million granted by the commonwealth under the National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence has been released to state and territory governments.
The Northern Territory will receive its first payment in February, with payment to all other states and territories landing on Monday.
In a statement announcing the release of initial funds, minister for women’s safety Anne Ruston said demand for frontline services increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and she anticipated the new funding would help alleviate some of these pressures.
She added that the nature of the funding was that each jurisdiction could determine to send the money where it was most needed.
“It is being used to bolster frontline worker numbers, expand crisis accommodation, sexual violence support, counselling and crisis case management, legal support, perpetrator interventions and men’s behaviour change programs,” the minister said.
“Funding is also being directed to help women and children who may have additional barriers to accessing support such as migrants, people with disability, LGBTIQA+ communities and women and children living in rural and remote communities.”
The National Partnership agreement is part of a record $1.1 billion investment into women’s safety in Australia, and is intended to coincide with the next National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032.
Minister Ruston added that the money builds on a further $130 million National Partnership commitment in 2020 for innovative programs delivering extra emergency accommodation and service delivery. Among the programs that money has supported include financial counselling programs and services to help victim survivors navigating the legal and courts system.
“This funding also works alongside our Escaping Violence Payment which provides victim-survivors leaving a violent relationship up to $5,000 in financial assistance to establish a home free from violence,” the minister said.