In the media

Statewide rollout of Staying Home Leaving Violence is a welcome step in the right direction

Media release, 6 May 2024

Today’s announcement from the NSW Government of $230 million to enhance support for domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV) victim-survivors and expand programs that reduce the rate of violence against women and children is a welcome step in the right direction.

In particular, the inclusion of $48m in funding for the statewide rollout of the Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) program in NSW is to be welcomed but, as with all such announcements, the devil will be in the detail.

This is something I have been calling for on behalf of the North Sydney community, as while the program has proven to be effective it has previously, and inexplicably, not been funded in any of the 9 LGAs on the North Shore or Northern Beaches, at a time when it is needed most.

Women and children across NSW including right here in North Sydney deserve all the help and support we can provide when they are facing family and domestic violence as, as far too many are having to decide between violence and poverty.

Empowering them to stay in the family home, while removing the perpetrator and offering appropriate intervention in the perpetrator’s life makes sense. As does listening to our overstretched frontline services.

Ultimately, while we throw money at a system that is geared to women running, we will never make progress. It’s time we flip the system and put dealing with the perpetrators at the centre of our actions. There is a way forward, but we need our governments to be brave and willing to work collaboratively to reset the system.

As Dr Gabrielle Morrisey, CEO of Women and Children First (North Sydney and Northern Beaches) shared with me this morning:

"We are delighted with today's announcement. The NSW Government is now listening to what frontline services are saying, and these commitments reflect that. We have been long calling for statewide rollout of the Staying Home Leaving Violence program, with the help of voices like Kylea's, and while it will take more money than has been committed, this is the right step to be taking right now. The next step would be nationwide rollout. We will be eagerly awaiting the details of the funding and look forward to working improving the safety and lives of women and children experiencing domestic violence in the Northern regions of Sydney."

In addition, Yvette Vignando, CEO of the North Shore-based Mary’s House Services said:

"This is a pivotal moment and it is more important than ever that our voices are heard from the frontline. We welcome this morning's announcement of funding to expand the Staying Home Leaving Violence and Integrated Domestic and Family Violence Services - two crucial programs. At Mary's House Services, we have been running these programs for our community in Northern Sydney for eight years now with no government funding at all despite huge increases in demand. We are desperate for these programs and further caseworkers to be funded at Mary's House, so our services remain sustainable for our community."

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