One-time funding deals ‘don’t work’ for survivors of domestic violence

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The Northern Territory Social Services Board has called on the Federal Government to commit to a long-term funding model that better reflects the rate of domestic, family and sexual violence in the Northern Territory.

It comes after the federal government pledged to provide a $10.7 million increase for domestic violence services in the Northern Territories, on top of funding provided under the $260 million National Partnership. on responses to family, domestic and sexual violence.

NTCOSS chief executive Deborah Di Natale said a one-time investment from the Commonwealth was welcome, but a long-term funding commitment was needed.

“The problem with one-time funding is that you’re not able to do long-term planning,” she said.

“One-time funding is not working for the Northern Territory because the Northern Territory has had these issues in place for many years.

“And it’s a long-term solution that will get us where we need to be.”

Ms Di Natale said the NT lost out because the current funding model was based on population.

“What NT needs is a needs-based funding model because you are more likely to experience domestic abuse if you live in the Northern Territory than if you live in any other jurisdiction.” she says.

“Territorialians face the highest rates of domestic, family and sexual violence in the nation.”

Remote communities also face an increased risk of domestic, family and sexual violence under the one-time funding model, Di Natale said.

“In very remote towns, there is no service,” she said.

“This situation puts women who live in these very remote communities without access to services at great risk of experiencing domestic violence and a greater risk of not being able to get the services they need when they need them.

Instead, Di Natale said these long-term issues require a long-term solution.

“With long-term funding, you can start thinking about the infrastructure needed, you can start thinking about early prevention models that work,” she said.

“What we need to look at long term is how do we educate all of our children about respectful relationships?

“How do we ensure we have services at the start of things which means we can completely eradicate DV in the Northern Territory.”

Di Natale said engaging with First Nations communities would help develop culturally appropriate responses.

“We have an Indigenous Justice Agreement in the Northern Territory, it is a roadmap to create what we call Law and Justice Groups, and these Law and Justice Groups are community led” , she said.

“And I think this idea that one size fits all is nonsense, you actually need to have community-led approaches and the needs will be different depending on where you are.”

Federal Family and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the federal government understands the need for increased funding.

“For the first time, the government is developing two five-year action plans for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, alongside the national plan to end violence against women and children, which will be developed and implemented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” she said. noted.

“It will be the primary mechanism for implementing Closing the Gap Goal 13 that by 2031 the rate of all forms of domestic violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Strait Islander women and children Torres is reduced by at least 50% as one progresses towards zero.

“We understand the importance of having formal mechanisms in place where Indigenous leaders and communities are listened to, heard and given avenues to work collaboratively with governments so that we can put in place programs that will really make a difference. difference on the ground.

Ruston said extending existing programs for five years would provide funding certainty for services.

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