Department of Family and Community Services


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12 Oct 2012

Minister for Women Pru Goward today announced a new approach to tackling domestic and family violence in NSW.

The three-year $9.8 million domestic and family violence grants program will see an increased focus on effective prevention and early intervention responses to domestic and family violence.

The Government will also allocate $600,000 this year to establish a service to support men’s behaviour change. The service, the first of its kind in NSW, will involve a dedicated telephone counselling, information and referral service for men who are concerned about their behaviour.

“The results of this review found a lack of policy clarity by the previous Government resulting in potential waste in the way they allocated funding to domestic and family violence programs,” Ms Goward said.

“The review found a lack of a strong evidence base as to what really works and no real assessment of the effectiveness of small local projects and programs which received funding.

“The review also identified gaps in prevention and early intervention responses to domestic and family violence.

“What is clear from the available evidence is that we must focus on the dynamics of domestic violence and its root causes, rather than responding after the violence has occurred.

“We already spend significant money on responsive services and we must now also consider how to stop the behaviour,” Ms Goward said.

The grants program will support four key areas of work:

  1. Effective prevention and early intervention – funding new approaches to prevention and early intervention that gets to the heart of dealing with domestic and family violence. For example, addressing the link between alcohol and domestic and family violence.
  2. Men’s behaviour change – funding focused on programs aimed at changing the behaviour in men committing domestic and family violence, through better support services such as phone counselling.
  3. Investing in the service sector – more training and materials to support existing workers in domestic and family violence so that they are equipped to do this work into the future.
  4. Building a strong evidence base – investing in evidence-based initiatives which will ensure better results for women.

Minister Goward said the first phase of the new program will also provide grants to Local Domestic Violence Committees across NSW, which are coordinating local efforts to reduce family and domestic violence.

“These committees are made up of committed individuals and service providers leading grass-roots work in the heart of their communities,” Ms Goward said.

“The Government has invested an additional $1.1 million to the existing $2.9 million for this year to boost the new approach to addressing domestic and family violence.

“This new approach will allow us to identify practical ways of changing patterns of violence and in the longer term, to prevent violence from occurring in the first place,” Ms Goward said.

Media Contact:

Dan Wheelahan 0435 930 465