The NSW Government is investing an extra $148.6 million as part of the 2021-22 NSW Budget to boost support for domestic and sexual violence survivors and accelerate access to justice.
Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Mark Speakman said the funds would bolster frontline domestic violence services and deliver eight new magistrates, taking the number of Local Court judicial officers to a record high of 149.
The 2021-22 Budget includes an extra $60 million over two years to strengthen frontline domestic and sexual violence services across NSW.
“Our dedicated frontline services do an incredible job at the coalface each day addressing the ongoing crisis of domestic violence and abuse,” Mr Speakman said.
“This funding boost will ensure they have the resources they need to support victim-survivors and their children as we emerge from the pandemic.”
NSW will also invest an extra $32.5 million over four years to expand Staying Home Leaving Violence, a program supporting women and children impacted by domestic violence, from its 33 existing sites to ensure it will be available right across NSW.
“Staying Home Leaving Violence provides security and wraparound services for women and children to remain safely in their homes, reducing the risk of homelessness and maintaining community connections,” Mr Speakman said.
Mr Speakman said that COVID-19 has contributed to delays in matters in the Local Court, adding to stresses for victims and families while they wait for their case to be dealt with.
“We’re investing $56.1 million over four years to appoint eight extra magistrates. More magistrates mean more hearings and quicker access to justice, reducing the impact on families, victims and witnesses,” Mr Speakman said.
This investment includes associated criminal justice system funding for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Corrective Services NSW, and Legal Aid NSW.
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