Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced nearly half a billion dollars in additional funding to combat family and domestic violence and strengthen the family law system.
The 2021-22 Federal Budget will see the Morrison Government provide $416.2 million over the next four years to support women and families experiencing family and domestic violence through a number of measures to increase information-sharing and support in the family law system.
“All Australians have the right to be safe. The reality is, for too many women, this is not the experience,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in his speech to the House of Representatives.
“One in four women experience violence from a current or former partner. This must stop. We must do more to end all forms of violence against women and children. We will improve the family law system to better protect children, give victims of domestic violence greater access to justice and reduce time spent in court.”
New initiatives announced in the Budget include:
- $85 million over three years from 2022-23 in additional funding for enhanced social supports under the Family Advocacy and Support Services and for 26 new locations, including in regional areas;
- $101.4 million over four years from 2021-22 to increase access to Children’s Contact Services for families across Australia who are unable to safely manage arrangements themselves for the contact and changeover of their children;
- $60.8 million over four years from 2021-22 to enable the family courts to implement a new approach to Family Law Case management;
- $29 million for a new initiative called the National Strategic Framework for Information Sharing between the Family Law and Family Violence and Child Protection Systems;
- $129 million over four years from 2021-22 for increased legal assistance funding to help women access justice;
- $4.7 million over two years to strengthen criminal justice responses to sexual assault, sexual harassment and coercive control; and
- $6.3 million in additional funding in 2021-22 to facilitate increased justice for victims of sexual assault.
The Budget Papers noted that separated parents who engage with the family law system “frequently experience a range of complex issues, often including family violence. In response, the Government is extending a range of programs to ensure that families navigating the family law system, especially where violence has been or could be an issue, are supported with appropriate legal and support services”.
MORE TO COME.