What the Marshall Liberal Government is doing to address domestic and family violence

Tackling the insidious scourge of domestic, family and sexual violence is a Marshall Liberal Government priority.

We’re doing more than ever before to support and protect at-risk women and children. This includes legislative and policy reform as well as record funding for support and prevention.

The Marshall Liberal Government’s Legislative Reform measures include;

  • Statues Amendment (Domestic Violence) Act 2018
    o Expanded the definition of abuse and increased penalties for repeated or violent breaches of intervention orders
    o Allowed police-recorded interviews with victims to be admissible evidence in court
    o Introduced a standalone criminal offence of non-fatal strangulation
  • Amendments to the Sentencing Act 2017
    o Lowered the available discount for various serious offences against the person, including those that are often experienced in a domestic violence situation
    o Ensures the penalty given to perpetrators of domestic and family violence reflect the seriousness of the crime
  • Amendments to the Victims of Crime Act 2001

    o Removed the requirement for all victims, including victim of domestic and family violence, to have any contact with the perpetrator when accessing compensation
  • Abolish the defence of provocation
    o This legislation contained family violence-specific provisions to ensure that evidence of family violence and the circumstances surrounding it can be taken into account both at trial and in sentencing

The Marshall Liberal Government’s new measures and programs include;

  • Early Intervention Impacts of Violence on Children Program
    o $200,000 from the Justice Rehabilitation Fund has been committed to the Women’s and Children’s Health Network to deliver this program which provides one-on-one intensive and assertive engagement and support to young people between the ages of 12-25 who are pregnant or parenting who are at risk of experiencing domestic violence
  • $1.9 million Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme trial
    o Allows a person at risk of domestic or family violence to seek information from South Australia Police about a current or former partner’s violent offending history
  • $600,000 over two years to Keep Victims of Domestic and Family Violence Informed
    o Funded the Department for Correctional Services to provide victims with information about a perpetrator’s custody status and parole conditions. This will be fully operational by 1 July 2021
  • $2.4 million over three years for the Relationship Australia South Australia’s Rebuild Program
    o To date, 802 victims of crime have received counselling services through this Program since its inception in July 2020 (20% relate to domestic and family violence crime)
  • $250,000 to the Office of the Commissioner of Victims’ Rights
    o Allows the Commissioner to take on additional responsibilities including providing measures to support victims through the court process and ensure they have adequate support to prepare victim impact statements
  • Family Safety Framework (Department for Human Services)
    o Allows for the sharing and safety planning for high risk victims of domestic and family violence
  • $1.66 million over four years to the 24/7 DV Crisis line
    o Extended this service to operate 24/7 ensuring victims of domestic and family violence are able to access the service at any time
  • $954,000 over three years to Yarrow Place
    o Funded for an additional three-years to provide specialist counselling and health responses to those impacted by rape and sexual assault
  • Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service
    o Will receive over $2 million in funding over 4 years
    o Since its inception, the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service has supported 1,376 women, successfully obtained 51 final intervention orders for the benefit of the Service’s clients and is currently working on a further 40 matters in which interim intervention orders have been granted.
  • Commonwealth Partnerships
    o National Legal Assistance Partnership - $149 million
    COVID-19 Legal Assistance Funding - $3.6 million to meet additional service demand and $1.2 million to upgrade ICT equipment.
  • $4 million for 40 new crisis accommodation beds
    o Supports South Australians leaving domestic and family violence across Adelaide and the regions
    o This includes nine beds for a perpetrator pilot so that women and children can remain in the family home. These beds are now all up and running.
  • $1.66 million to fund the Women’s Safety Services SA domestic violence crisis hotline 24/7.
  • $353,000 to fund the new life-saving domestic violence app.
  • $624,000 to fund the South Australian Coalition of Women’s Domestic Violence Services as the peak body.
  • Funding to assist in opening nine DV safety hubs in regional areas. Some hubs need funding, some hubs do not as they are run in community buildings and by volunteers.
  • $1.86 million towards funding the national sexual violence prevention campaign – Stop it at the Start
  • A ($5 million) interest-free loan to develop a new DV support housing initiative.
  • Rolled out the Ask Angela initiative, designed to assist women facing sexual harassment in licensed venues.
  • Released Committed to Safety, a whole of government new policy designed to address domestic, family and sexual violence in SA.

Additional, fast-tracked Marshall Liberal Government DV measures thanks to a Federal Government funding boost to keep women and children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic include;

  • $1.5 million for Safe and Well Kids
    o This new program will see a team of experts work together to provide “wrap around” support to children and adolescents who have experienced domestic and family violence.'
  • $500,000 for an Aboriginal children’s therapeutic service
    o This funding will enable an Aboriginal-led organisation to develop and trial a trauma-responsive therapeutic model designed specifically for Aboriginal children and adolescents.
  • $1.7 million for Safe and Secure Housing
    o This new program will provide support, information and advocacy to help women and their children move out of temporary crisis accommodation and into safe, long-term accommodation.
  • $1.9 million for Individual Support Packages for at-risk South Australian women
    o Hundreds of South Australian women have been financially supported through a new Marshall Liberal Government measure to help them – and their children – escape family and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $1.9 million for the new state-wide 24/7 perpetrator response and increased intervention services
    o State-first funding for the 24/7 Men’s Referral Service hotline and wrap-around support services, specifically targeted at men who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of men have already been supported.
  • $300,000 for the Break the Cycle campaign
    o Funding for the new, successful DV advertising campaign, seen on TV, radio and social media, including Tinder to stop DV before it’s too late. This ad was viewed more than 1 million times on Tinder alone, in an Australian-first partnership.
  • $250,000 towards the new KIND program
    o Funding to pilot a new program to help young men who have been violent towards their own partners and families, or who are at-risk of becoming violence.