Budget: Domestic violence focus

Domestic violence was in focus last week when the government announced their 2017/18 state budget. 

The government said they are introducing several measures to help reduce the unacceptable levels of family and domestic violence in the community and provide extra services to support victims.

Premier Mark McGowan said the state government was committed to addressing the levels of domestic violence in the state.

“The state government is delivering a multifaceted approach to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and offering better support and protection to women in Western Australia.” 

However, it is unknown at this stage what the exact impact will be for the South West area.

The budget has outlined two new women’s refuges as well as extra education and prevention strategies to help reverse the prevalence of domestic violence,

as well as financial counselling services to be reinstating and expanded.

The Peel region will recieve a new family and domestic violence counselling service. 

The state government have also announced funding for the RSPCA to support a pets in crisis program,

which will help the victims of domestic violence look after their pets. 

There will be also be a respectful relationships program delivered throughout schools as a means of prevention. 

A further $1.69 million will be put towards expand existing culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse victims of family and domestic violence and planning funding to start work to establish an additional behavioural change service for male perpetrators of family and domestic violence.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk said the budget was a step in the right direction. 

“As WA’s first Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, I’m pleased the government is taking the issue seriously,” he said. 

“The new women’s refuges will provide a safe and secure space for women and children who are escaping domestic violence and provide appropriate support to help them get back on their feet.

“It is also important we educate the community about the impacts of family and domestic violence and by introducing respectful relationship programs in schools,

we can continue to implement cultural change in attitudes towards family and domestic violence.”

Vasse MP Libby Mettam said said it was essential that the funding is spread out across the state. 

“It is vital that the government supports the whole of WA on this issue, not just Labor or metropolitan seats.”