The Albanese Labor Government is investing in new ways to support victim-survivors of family, domestic and sexual violence.
More than $103 million is being invested in pilot programs to support victim-survivors of family, domestic and sexual violence, run through Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across Australia.
The $67 million Supporting Recovery pilot program will focus on the long-term recovery of victim-survivors of family, domestic and sexual violence.
Victim-survivors in pilot regions will have access to free, long-term trauma-informed mental health care.
Six PHNs across metro, regional and remote areas have been selected to pilot the new model of trauma-informed care to support victim-survivors. They are:
- Brisbane South PHN
- Country Western Australia PHN
- Gippsland PHN
- Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN
- Northern Territory PHN
- South Western Sydney PHN.
Pilot services are expected to commence in 2024.
A further $36.8 million will build on a successful pilot, Supporting the Primary Care response to Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence PHN Pilot, already underway to increase the skills of staff in primary care to better identify, care for and refer people who are experiencing family and domestic violence.
The funding expands support for primary care to respond to sexual violence and child sexual abuse for three PHNs already participating in the pilot and funds five new PHNs, establishing a pilot in every Australian state and territory, to support victim-survivors of family, domestic, sexual violence and child sexual abuse.
New PHN pilots will be funded in:
- Capital Health Network
- Primary Health Tasmania
- Northern Territory PHN
- Adelaide PHN (with Country SA PHN)
- Perth South PHN
This builds on existing pilots that are being expanded in:
- Brisbane South PHN
- Hunter New England PHN (with Central and Eastern Sydney PHN and Nepean Blue Mountains PHN)
- Western Victoria PHN
Both pilot programs are priority actions under the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022–2032, established by the Australian Government together with state and territory governments in October 2022.
If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, family, domestic, or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
If you are concerned about your behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit www.ntv.org.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mark Butler:
“Knowing where to go to get support can be difficult for people in vulnerable situations.
“The existing pilot has already made such a positive difference for people experiencing family and domestic violence.
“A pilot program in every state and territory will help to ensure children and adults facing family and sexual violence can get the critical support they need from skilled and knowledgeable health professionals.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth:
“Supporting victim-survivors to be safe and healthy is a key pillar of our National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 and we are immediately delivering on our actions in two Action Plans released last week.
“The need for support does not stop once someone has left a violent relationship. Victim-survivors will often require long-term support to recover from the financial, social, psychological, emotional, and physical impacts of family and domestic violence.
“Primary care workers can be the first point of contact for women and it’s important that workers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond in a trauma-informed way.
“It is particularly vital for those living in rural and regional communities, where specialist support may not be as accessible.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister Emma McBride:
“With one in three women having experienced physical violence since the age of 15, and one in five has experienced sexual violence, domestic and sexual violence is a major health and welfare concern for our government.
“Existing support services are often focused on crisis support which, of course is critically important.
“But people who experience family, domestic and sexual violence can experience mental health conditions – like anxiety depression, and post-traumatic disorder – for many years, and often for life.
“The Supporting Recovery pilot recognises that victim-survivors of family, domestic and sexual violence need support for their recovery long after violence has ended to truly recover and heal from their trauma.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister Justine Elliot:
“Women’s safety is a national priority for our Government and I am proud that, as a nation, we have committed to ending violence against women and children within one generation.
“Victim-survivors require accessible and often lifelong support to recover from the physical, emotional, psychological and financial impacts of violence.
“This support is critical for victim-survivors and their families – because we know the impact violence can have on people with lived experience and their families, particularly if trauma is not addressed.
“These pilot programs will provide the trauma-informed support victim-survivors need today and help us better design services for tomorrow.”