The Marshall Liberal Government is delivering on a key election commitment by providing $1.66 million over the next four years to enable a vital women’s domestic violence crisis hotline to operate around-the-clock for the first time.
Premier Steven Marshall said the extra funding, provided in the coming State Budget, will ensure Women’s Safety Services SA was adequately staffed to provide “urgent and specialist trained” support to hundreds more women living in a violent or abusive relationship each year.
Until now, the free and confidential state-wide hotline has only been able to afford to operate 9am to 5pm on weekdays, with calls outside of these hours diverted to a homelessness service run by Uniting Communities.
“Our $1.66 million commitment will help ensure hundreds more women living in a violent or abusive relationship are able to access immediate, specialist support from experts trained in the field each year,’’ said Premier Marshall.
“Women’s Safety Services SA has been offering critical domestic violence support and advice through its hotline for the past 29 years and, for the first time, it can be staffed around-the-clock to ensure women are assisted whenever they need it.
“This funding is part of a raft of positive measures contained in the upcoming State Budget and highlights my government’s commitment to help reduce the scourge of domestic violence.”
Last year, the DV Crisis Line responded to 7,576 calls. Of those, 1,552 became registered clients of the service.
In addition to telephone counselling, trained staff can help find women safe accommodation and provide information about police, legal, housing and financial issues.
“Domestic violence is, shockingly, an issue that affects the lives of far too many people across the country – in fact one in four women in Australia experience intimate partner violence,’’ said Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink.
“As a government, we will continue to do whatever we can to ensure women feel safe and supported and know where to turn for help.”
The Domestic Violence Crisis Line is 1800 800 098