Domestic and Family Violence
WEL’s Policy Demands
- Action to support increased funding and an integrated and intersectional approach across government agencies to end family and domestic violence.
- Funding for an improvement in staffing levels for frontline domestic violence services so that every service can offer specialist support for children and young people.
- Investment in an intersectional approach to primary prevention and intervention incorporating funding for multicultural safety training for all workers in domestic and family violence services so that they are aware of barriers to seeking help from services such as shame in many culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
- Commitment to new funding for the refurbishment and maintenance of all women’s refuges and domestic violence specialist services with a gradual program of transformation to a core and cluster model for all.
- Substantial new government investment in social and affordable dwellings to increase the stock of dedicated, secure, long-term housing for women who have fled domestic and family violence.
WEL NSW supports the NSW Women’s Alliance: Seven Calls to Action to End Gendered Violence.
Increased funding is needed for current strategies focused on domestic, family and sexual violence. These require better coordination across government agencies and integration into the process for budgeting, measuring and reporting on outcomes.
Current funding of specialist workers in DFV services and women’s refuges is inadequate to ensure that all 86 operating refuges can employ a specialist worker to support the needs of children and young people, whether they are in government owned (67) or independent or privately owned properties.
Multicultural awareness education and cultural safety training is essential for all workers in DFV services to improve and enhance their skills in dealing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This must be delivered to frontline workers over time by experienced trainers from the communities and the focus needs to be on self-reflection with the objective of achieving behavioural change in interactions with diverse communities.
WEL wants a commitment to new funding and a capital works program over the next decade for the upgrade of women’s refuges. The traditional shared house environment is no longer the optimum model for women’s refuge accommodation. The alternative core and cluster model of crisis accommodation allows for the creation of independent living quarters with private bathroom and kitchen facilities. Additional funding is needed to upgrade and modernise the 67 women’s refuges, which are in the main standalone houses dating back to the 1980’s and 90’s. Funding for refurbishment and maintenance is also inadequate.
WEL’s affordable housing policy includes a demand for long-term housing solutions for women and children seeking help from specialist homelessness services due to domestic and family violence.