Full Stop Australia acknowledges the budget investment in First Nation’s women’s safety, men’s behaviour change, perpetrator interventions and early intervention and the steps taken to improve outcomes in the criminal justice system for victims of sexual violence.
Full Stop Australia also welcomes the extra commitment by the Albanese Government to women’s safety by the extension of the National Partnerships Agreement for a further two years. This budget makes much-needed progress but does not go far enough in working towards ending violence against women and children in a decade.
Critical gaps still exist for frontline crisis and trauma response particularly in sexual violence and in the provision of recovery support services. Trauma recovery takes time and sustained investment and Full Stop Australia continues to call for trauma specialist services that extend beyond a short-term model of care. This includes funding to support the continuation of our national trauma specialist counselling line. Currently this is the only national phone and online specialist trauma support service that provides ongoing care across the continuum from crisis to recovery.
The sector has called for a minimum of $1 billion a year to end sexual, domestic and family violence. Unfortunately, this budget falls short of this funding need. We continue to experience increases in demand across all of our services at Full Stop Australia. This highlights the need for immediate and sustained commitment to ensure services are well resourced to ensure that people seeking help are not turned away or made to wait. These services are not luxuries they are essential in keeping women and children safe, preventing future violence and addressing the impacts to promote re-engagement and recovery.
As we reflect on the 56 lives lost in 2022 in domestic and family violence related deaths, we are reminded that funding frontline services such as Full Stop Australia is absolutely a life and death matter. These deaths are preventable and require a resounding, unified and multi-pronged response.
We require a system that supports initiatives along the continuum from prevention & crisis response through to recovery. This requires adequate and sustained funding across the sector with a commitment to legislative change and building the capacity of workforces across the sector.
Our national 1800FULLSTOP (1800 385 578) trauma counselling service is free and available 24/7 in every state and territory for anyone who may be impacted by sexual, domestic and family violence.
Our NSW sexual violence helpline (1800 424 017) is also available to anyone in NSW who is impacted by sexual violence.
Our Rainbow sexual, domestic and family violence helpline (1800 497 212) is available to any LGBTQ+ person in Australia who has been impacted by sexual, domestic and family violence.
Full Stop Australia, as one of the most respected and recognised national services, remains committed to putting a full stop to sexual, domestic and family violence.