Liberal Government develops new Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Framework for South Australia

04 Mar 2019 newsmedia

The Liberal Government has taken another important step towards ending domestic, family and sexual violence in South Australia, with the release of new policy today which will coordinate efforts to improve the safety of all women and their children across the state.

The new framework, titled Committed to Safety: A Framework for Addressing Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence, includes a strong focus on providing targeted support to specific population groups, such as young people, Aboriginal women and communities, women with disabilities, culturally and linguistically diverse women, older women, and people living in regional and remote communities.

“We know that domestic, family and sexual violence is sadly and shockingly one of the biggest issues of our generation,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“The Liberal Government is proud to have delivered a range of initiatives announced during the 2018 election campaign and we now take a further step towards a safer community by committing to the actions in this new framework.”

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the new framework would help shape an acrossGovernment, comprehensive, safety-driven approach to tackle the scourge of domestic violence.

“It is important to remember that every single South Australian has a role to play in ending domestic, family and sexual violence,” said Minister Lensink.

“The new framework is a working, live document – we will continue to be flexible and agile to respond to issues and new ideas and ways of thinking as we go forward."

“Working to prevent violence against women and providing suitable support may look different for different population groups, so it is vital that we provide tailored responses and support and this new framework will do just that.”

Committed to Safety sets out clear commitments with short, medium and long-term time-frames to implement change and is built around three key focus areas – primary prevention, service and support and justice.

Actions outlined under the new Committed to Safety framework include:

• Developing a new Employment and Leadership Strategy to increase women’s participation in non-traditional and growing industries.

• The introduction of ‘pet bonds’, which will aim to improve the availability of private rental accommodation that will support women with pets who leave violent relationships.

• Implementing Safe Practice Standards for Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Services to ensure consistency in service delivery standards across the state.

As outlined in the new framework, Minister Lensink said the Liberal Government and nongovernment sector would continue to work together to find ways for victims of domestic violence to remain safely in their own homes whenever possible.

“Staying at home means women and children can continue to be part of their community, including attending schools and local services they are familiar with and they do not have to experience further disruption from needing to move houses,” said Minister Lensink.

“We are committed to strengthening women’s safety in their own homes by building a whole of system response to perpetrators from early intervention through to justice responses that focus on perpetrator accountability and responsibility."

“In many cases, temporary accommodation is the only safe option and the Liberal Government remains committed to delivering additional crisis accommodation facilities in both metropolitan and regional areas."

“Initial feedback from our series of state-wide domestic and family violence roundtables means we will strengthen our focus on removing perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence from the home and explore a range of accommodation options for them."

“Whatever their needs, locations or situations, we want to ensure that South Australian families are supported to address domestic, family and sexual violence.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said feedback from a series of regional and metropolitan roundtables hosted by the Liberal Government had helped shape the new framework.

“Domestic and family violence is everybody’s business. It requires an all-in response. It can nolonger be ignored; and whilst we work to address the impact of domestic and family violence, our ultimate goal is to prevent it from occurring in the first place,” said Ms Power.

“This means empowering people of all ages and backgrounds to positively change beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that lead to domestic, family and sexual violence."

“Preventing domestic and family violence from occurring in the first place ultimately saves lives.”

The Liberal Government continues to deliver on its commitment to address the scourge of domestic violence across the state, including investing more than $11.9 million on a suite of measures to support women and children at risk in South Australia.

The raft of positive measures the Liberal Government has delivered/is delivering includes:

• $4 million to be spent on establishing 40 new emergency crisis accommodation beds for people fleeing abuse. Following feedback from a series of DV roundtables, the State Government will now decide the location of these beds, in areas of greatest need.

• $5 million in interest-free loans to non-government organisations to find new domestic violence support housing including renovations and capital upgrades.

• An extra $1.66 million over four years, which has extended the Women’s Safety Services SA domestic violence crisis hotline to 24-hours a day.

• A personal protection app linking at-risk women directly to police and DV services.

• A state-wide trial of a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme to enable women to request information on their partner’s criminal history, which started in October 2018.

• A new stand-alone criminal offence of strangulation, as well as tougher penalties for
repeated breaches of intervention orders.

Committed to Safety is available on the Office for Women website at