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NSW Budget Announces Wrap-Around Support for Women Leaving Domestic Violence

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DVNSW applauds the NSW government on delivering $43.6 million over four years for victim-survivors of domestic violence through the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCAS) including:

  • $37.6m over four years for all WDVCASs to deliver case management
  • $3.7 million for a new WDVCAS online client management system
  • $3.24 million for a hearing support pilot in 14 WDVCAS locations.

“DVNSW applaud funding in today’s budget for the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) to deliver supports to women in crisis due to domestic violence,” says DVNSW Interim CEO, Elise Phillips. “This is the largest single increase in WDVCAS funding since the introduction of Safer Pathways in 2014. A workforce strategy to ensure the capacity to deliver this and other DFV sector projects will be vital.”

WDVCASs currently provide support during crisis and are funded to contact women within a business day of a domestic violence incident. Case management funding will enhance WDVCAS’s ability to provide effective, wrap around support to clients with complex needs. The hearing support pilot will mean women receive support for the duration of their court matters, not simply in the initial phase. The new client management system will reduce the administration workload for WDVCASs and allow more time for direct service delivery.

“DVNSW advocated for WDVCAS resourcing in a pre-budget submission to treasury in January 2022 and are pleased to see that the initiatives have been funded,” says Phillips. “Demand for the WDVCAS service has increased annually for more than five years. This funding will allow services to provide more than an initial crisis call, but thorough and ongoing supports as women navigate the complex justice and social support system.”

Research has found that WDVCAS’s support is invaluable, with one research participant stating:

“[Court] wasn’t that bad because I got with the Court Assistance Program, so that I didn’t have to see him. I could go into another room. That was a good experience… She stayed with me all day as well.”

“Although we are happy to see the additional funding for WDVCAS, funding for medium and long term safe and affordable housing remains a gap and something DVNSW will continue to advocate for in the lead up to the 2023 NSW election,” says Phillips.

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