Shoalhaven News

Huge funding boost to tackle domestic violence


The Shoalhaven has been described as a domestic violence hot spot for many years, and one of the worst  areas in NSW for violence within the home.

However people fleeing violent homes will benefit from a massive NSW Government investment in housing and specialist support services.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward says the $484 million funding boost will focus on ensuring anyone leaving a violent relationship is able to access secure and stable accommodation.

He says domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women and children.

"Secure and stable accommodation is one of the biggest challenges a woman and her children can face when trying to safely leave a violent relationship," Mr Ward said.

"In fact, domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women and children, with almost 40 per cent of the people who accessed specialist homelessness services in NSW in 2019-20 having experienced domestic abuse."

He said the funding commitment "will help thousands of women and children across the state to access the shelter and supports they need to start rebuilding their lives".

Most of the money will go to building 75 women’s refuges designed around the core and cluster model, where clusters of housing units will be built around cores where residents can access supports such s counselling and legal support, and amenities like communal kitchens and playgrounds.

There will also be money to build an extra 200 sustainable and affordable housing units under the Community Housing Innovation Fund, a partnership between the NSW Government and the community housing sector.

South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said children impacted by family violence must not be forgotten, and the government was also investing in specialist supports for children and young people as part of the funding package.

"Specialist homelessness services supported more than 8,200 children in families experiencing domestic violence 2019-20," Mrs Hancock said.

"The trial announced this week will provide another 3,200 children and young people with access to the trauma-informed care and educational supports they need to help them recover too.” 

Image: Supplied

Tags: Shoalhaven police, domestic violence