Media release: Support packages helping women and children fleeing violence

Media release: Support packages helping women and children fleeing violence

Hundreds of South Australian women have been financially supported through a new Marshall Liberal Government measure to help them – and their children – to escape family and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, 1,133 women state-wide have been supported through brokerage packages worth a total of $712,000.

The packages are tailored to each women’s unique circumstances, supporting them with housing, accommodation, transportation, food and bills - and they are distributed through NGOs state-wide.

Of the 1,133 women who have received a support package up to December 31, 2020:

* 43 per cent had never sought help for domestic violence before
* 39 per cent had children accompanying them.
* 19 per cent identified as Aboriginal
* 42 per cent were aged 25-44
* The most common supports were alternative housing and accommodation (27 per cent), transportation (36 per cent) and basic material needs (21 percent).

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said financial strain was often a barrier for many women leaving dangerous situations.

“We want all South Australian experiencing violence or abuse in their homes to know that they are supported and there is help available if they need it,” said Minister Lensink.

“This $1 million boost to domestic violence services state-wide is giving women and their children financial support that in many cases is enabling them to quickly remove themselves from unsafe situations and giving them immediate help to pay for things like transport, moving and housing costs, counselling services and legal assistance.

“While it’s upsetting to see so many women receiving the packages saying they had never sought support for domestic violence before, it’s comforting to know these women are getting support that is helping them make the right and safest decisions for themselves.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said the data clearly showed the support packages were not only helping women – but their children too.

“A large number of women receiving support packages during the pandemic have had children accompanying them, meaning this financial assistance is enabling safer pathways for women and their families,” said Mrs Power.

Mrs Power said a Federal Government funding boost last year had enabled the Marshall Liberal Government to fast-track new domestic violence initiatives in South Australia.

“The Marshall Liberal Government has been able to roll-out a series of new domestic violence measures – including these support packages – to ensure we’re helping to keep more South Australians safe,” said Mrs Power.

“We have adapted and responded quickly on the ground to needs of women and their children during the pandemic.

“We’re spending record funding on measures to support South Australians at risk, and we remain committed to combatting domestic, family and sexual violence.”

For immediate support call:

DV Crisis Line: 1800 800 098
Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491