Family violence funding package to unite services

NO MORE: Domestic violence court advocates Jackie and Di with Detective Inspector Kevin McNeil and Bega MP Andrew Constance.
NO MORE: Domestic violence court advocates Jackie and Di with Detective Inspector Kevin McNeil and Bega MP Andrew Constance.

The Far South Coast will benefit from $53million earmarked for victims of family violence in NSW.

The NSW government package will be spent in 21 regions of the state, including on the Far South Coast, from Batemans Bay to the Victorian border.

The Far South Coast Women’s Court Advocacy Group will use the funds to streamline victim support efforts.

Safety Action Meetings will be held with relevant agencies including the departments of health, family and community, justice and police and non-government organisations. 

Bega MP Andrew Constance announced the funds on Wednesday and said the crime of family violence was unacceptable and was often hidden.

However, recent times have seen a lot more reporting of domestic violence, he said. 

Mr Constance said victims could be confused about where to get help.

“There has not been a well coordinated pathway for victims of domestic violence, when trying to get through the maze of different services,” he said.

“It (the funding) will assist victims to get through the various services. It is a difficult system to work through at the moment.”

Mr Constance said better coordination would reduce the stress on victims reporting assaults.

“Victims won’t have to re-tell their story and relive the trauma to every different agency,” he said.

The message that domestic violence “had to stop” was crucial. 

“The level of awareness across the community is changing, but it’s still a major issue,” he said.

“We shouldn’t pretend it is not going on,” he said. 

Far South Coast Local Area Command Detective Inspector Kevin McNeil said the number of reported domestic violence cases was increasing. 

“It will make everyone accountable for their actions,” he said of the new program.

“We have been working in smaller communities to promote reporting. It is starting to come through and they are telling police.”