Government funds 40 new emergency crisis accommodation beds in $11.9M package to address domestic violence

The Marshall Liberal Government is delivering on its key election commitments to address the scourge of domestic violence, by investing more than $11.9 million over the next four years on a suite of measures to support women and children at risk.

In the coming State Budget, $4 million will be spent on establishing 40 new emergency crisis accommodation beds for people fleeing abuse, as well as $5 million in interest-free loans to non-government organisations to fund new domestic violence support housing, including renovations and capital upgrades.

Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman said the additional funding was a “critical step forward” in the government’s commitment to help reduce domestic and family violence.

“The scourge of domestic violence is a national disgrace and the Marshall Government is committed to doing whatever we can to ensure women living in a violent or abusive relationship are better able to access immediate support,’’ said Deputy Premier Chapman.

“The $9 million in funding for 40 new crisis beds, as well as interest-free loans for the non-government sector, will ensure more women have access to emergency accommodation when they need it.”

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the crisis beds will be established in consultation with experts in the domestic and family violence sector to ensure they are placed in locations where the need is greatest.

“This commitment follows our recent announcement of an extra $1.66m over four years to extend the Women’s Safety Services SA domestic violence crisis hotline 24-hours a day,’’ Minister Lensink said.

“We will also be spending $150,000 on the development of a personal protection app linking at-risk women directly to police and domestic violence services.

“Our suite of positive measures to address family and domestic violence in the coming State Budget will total more than $11.9 million.”

Among the other key measures are:

  • $510,000 to support a state-wide trial of a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme to enable women to request information on their partner’s criminal history;
  • $624,000 over four years for the South Australian Coalition of Women’s Domestic Violence Services to enhance its community work and activities advocating for the prevention of domestic, family and sexual violence

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme would be trialled by the Office for Women, and help ensure people are better informed about their partner’s criminal history.

“Critically, the trial will ensure people are provided support to deal with any information disclosed in the scheme, and assistance to plan for their safety if required,’’ Assistant Minister Power said.