Domestic and family violence services underfunded at a time of need in COVID19 pandemic – Illawarra Mercury

The Illawarra Women’s Health Centre has seen an increase in referrals for Domestic Violence during the pandemic, but the government has not provided sufficient funding for the centre to help. At best, this means that the Centre cannot help and abuse continues, at worst, women referred to the centre may suffer worsened abuse because they sought help, disclosed but could not escape, develop a safety plan or access sufficient support.

“For our Centre (Illawarra Women’s Health Centre), a government funded essential service, to allocate significant time and additional money to compete with other community health and DFV services – also overwhelmed with relentless demand – for this small amount of funding is not just insulting, its abusive” said the Centre’s Chairwoman, Judy Daunt. ‘Drip feeding small amounts of money, over which services must compete, and for which we must feign appreciation lest we be later penalised is exactly the kind of financial control we see in DFV relationships – this time replicated and amplified by government.”

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