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Published: 06 August 2018
Author: Adele White and Elizabeth Becker

RCT supports Andrews Government funding for 24/7 refuges to protect victims of family violence

The Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley, has announced a massive $27.7 million in funding to protect women and children from family violence.

The funding will provide financial support over four years to eight local refuge providers which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Providers supported by the investment include McAuley Services for Women, Annie North, Good Samaritan Inn, Berry Street, Salvation Army Crossroads, WAYYS Ltd, Elizabeth Morgan House and Safe Futures Foundation.

There was a total of 227 recommendations that came out of the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence, all of which the Labour Government has committed to implementing. One of those recommendations was an improvement of access to after hours crisis support services for victims of family violence. The 24/7 refuges were established in response to this and the $27.7 million funding is intended to see the implementation of that recommendation through.

State Government committed to improving housing for victims of family violence

This announcement comes as part of a much larger "Housing Blitz" in which $152 million has been committed to increasing crisis and emergency accommodation options for victims of family violence as well as redeveloping family violence refuges. The Andrews Government has injected more than $300 million into implementing recommendations related to housing and crisis accommodation to date.

Ryan Carlisle Thomas, and in particular, our Family and Relationship Law Department, very much supports the establishment and funding of these extra services. From our experience, we know Family Violence and Family Law can, unfortunately, go relatively hand in hand. Research demonstrates that relationship breakdown and separation is a time where there is an increased risk of physical, emotional and financial family violence. The reality is that many of these incidents of family violence do not occur within 9 to 5 business hours. This makes the need for after hours crisis accommodation and support services so critical for victims of family violence.

We believe that this funding will go a long way to support some of our most vulnerable clients.

*Adele is a law undergraduate who is currently working with us as a paralegal.