After the worst year for domestic violence on record, rates aren’t falling
After the worst year for domestic violence on record, rates aren’t falling.
As the NSW and Commonwealth Governments consider their budgets for 2021/22, Women’s Safety NSW is calling for more funding support for frontline domestic, family and sexual violence services noting record numbers of victims are coming forward to seek safety and support.
“Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs) provided 286,722 occasions of service to women experiencing domestic and family violence in NSW last year; 73,863 more than the year before. That’s a 35% increase” says Hayley Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Safety NSW. “And client demand isn’t letting up. Frontline domestic and family violence specialists in both metropolitan and regional areas report being ‘slammed’ by the onslaught.”
Women’s Safety NSW points to a confluence of factors which have led to this increase in demand for domestic and family violence services.
“First we had lock-down conditions which resulted in victims being trapped at home with their abuser 24/7. Then we had the economic impacts of COVID throwing fuel on the fire as families came under increasing financial pressure and women had reduced resources to escape violent and abusive situations.”explains Ms Foster. “At the same time, we’ve had national and state-based campaigns to raise awareness of domestic and family violence, and to encourage people to reach out for safety and support.”