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States urged to focus domestic violence funds on emergency accommodation

Senator Ruston and Minister for Women Marise Payne chaired the inaugural Council of Australian Governments’ Women’s Safety Council this week, where states and territories agreed to prioritise safer housing, emergency accommodation, counselling, crisis support, help lines and behavioural change programs. Technology-based support is also high on the list to help those unable to leave home during the pandemic.

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“Given these unprecedented circumstances we know there will be a need for many frontline services to transition to online or telephone-based services,” Senator Payne said.

As part of the $150 million package, the federal government has also provided $20 million for helpline 1800RESPECT, Mensline and a national advertising campaign to let people know where to go for help.

“These changes need to be carefully managed to ensure that services can best manage the safety and privacy of women seeking support,” she said.

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