More funding to tackle rise in domestic violence

With numbers of domestic violence victims seeking support rising during the months of social isolation necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, more help is at hand for sufferers on the Central Coast.

The most recent crime statistics available for NSW show that domestic violence assaults were up 4.1 per cent for the 24 months to March 2020.

The next report, which will reflect figures incorporating the months when Coast residents were confined largely to their homes, will likely reveal even more of a spike.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said a recent funding boost of more than half a million dollars will support the work of five support services in the region.

They are: Central Coast Accommodation and Support Service for Women with or without Accompanying Children (Coast Shelter); Integrated Domestic and Family Violence Service Safe Homes; Central Coast Homelessness Accommodation Service for Young Women; Staying Home Leaving Violence Central Coast; and Central Coast Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service.

“The purpose of this $565,400 funding boost is to ensure local support services have the resources they need to respond to any unfortunate increase in service demand,” Crouch said.

“The statistics are sobering and just go to show why providing support to domestic violence victim-survivors is so important.

“Everyone has the right to live a life free from violence, and the NSW Government is also working hard to encourage everyone to ‘speak out’ and contact the NSW Domestic Violence Line when it is safe to do so.”

Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Mark Speakman, said more victim-survivors have sought assistance during COVID-19 and are presenting to services with more complex needs.

“This comprehensive package responds to a range of issues raised with the Government during this pandemic and aims to protect women and children and ultimately save lives,” Speakman said.

Free, confidential and 24/7 support is available from the NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63.

Terry Collins