The NSW Government has announced it’ll include an almost $100 million package focused on women’s safety in its next budget. But what will that investment actually look like?
It’ll focus on three key areas: street safety, domestic violence services and workplace sexual harassment.
The biggest investment is in Safer Pathway. Safer Pathway is a program which is essentially designed to support victim-survivors of domestic and family violence across NSW. However, to access Safer Pathway, the incident of family or domestic violence needs to be reported to the NSW Police or another service.
Then, the victim-survivor is supposed to be referred to specialist domestic and family violence services. According to the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, “a specialist domestic violence support worker contacts the victim-survivor by phone to offer support and assistance”.
The big $43.6 million investment into Safer Pathway will mean expanding the referral pathways in the existing system, and it’ll also also see an expansion of case management services.
Part of the investment will also go towards enhancing the central database used by NSW Police and other agencies to refer people to the Safer Pathways service providers.
One of the other investments — this time of $26 million — will mean changes to the court and tribunal systems. Audio-visual link facilities will be expanded in almost 50 NSW courts. This means victim-survivors will be able to appear in court remotely, as reported by the ABC.
Plus, there’ll be an increase in court-appointed questioners.
The next biggest investment for women’s safety is $30 million to tackle street harassment. It’ll be spent over two years and focus on The Rocks and Parramatta park.
The $30 million will go to improving street lighting, foot traffic and CCTV. There’ll also be an anti-harassment campaign.
According to the ABC, the investment will ultimately expand into different areas of Sydney, plus regional NSW.
“Safety is a basic human right and even in our beautiful city far too many women don’t feel safe when walking around at night,” said NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, per 9News.
Finally, the last $4.8 million of the women’s safety investment will go to the Respect at Work Taskforce. It’ll be primarily focused on anti-sexual harassment training in male-dominated industries.
The Respect at Work Taskforce was established by SafeWork NSW after the Jenkins report — Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ Respect@Work report.
All of these investments will be announce in the NSW Budget next week. But only time will tell whether these investments have a tangible impact on gendered and domestic violence.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800
Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.