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19 Sep 2023

Media releases

DFV funding a win for migrant and refugee women and children

Funding for a specialist multicultural domestic and family violence centre, announced in today’s NSW State Budget, will greatly enhance support for some of the state’s most vulnerable community members, according to leading non-profit SSI.

NSW Labor pledged $4.4 million over three years to establish the south-west Sydney centre, which would provide tailored support for migrant and refugee women, along with building the capacity of existing DFV services to work with this cohort.

SSI Head of Women, Equity and Domestic Violence Dr Astrid Perry OAM commended the Minns Government on upholding this pre-election commitment to ensure support for a group of women and children who often slip through the cracks of the current over-stretched system.

“This is an important step in ensuring there are tailored approaches to addressing and preventing violence across different communities,” she said.

“This isn’t about preferencing one group of victim-survivors over another – this is about levelling the playing field. All communities experience DFV, but refugee and migrant communities face unique barriers that mean they often struggle to access mainstream DFV services.”

Dr Perry said some of these challenges included language barriers, cultural stigma, visa status, lack of trust, financial insecurity and a service system that is complex to navigate.

“This much needed centre will bridge a gap in support for women and children from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and create greater equity in the availability of support for all victim-survivors, and their children,” she said.

Dr Perry said it was also heartening to see the $34.3 million commitment to increase support for 20 Women’s Health Centres, which provide primary health care to women, including those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Of the other changes announced in the budget, SSI also welcomed the Multicultural Communities Support Package, particularly the establishment of the Premier’s Prevention Panel on Racism and Extremism to develop a whole-of-government response to the growing safety concerns of these communities in NSW.

The package will deliver much needed support for culturally and linguistically diverse communities across NSW through initiatives such as the creation of a $30 million Multicultural Capital Partnership Fund and a multicultural youth network platform.

In a budget underpinned by themes of equality and access, the government also committed $100 million to support an expanded cashless gaming trial, the delivery of harm-minimisation programs, and gaming reform.

In addition, it will provide ambulance services free of charge for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence or child abuse.

About SSI:

Settlement Services International (SSI) delivers a range of human services that connect individuals, families, and children from diverse backgrounds with opportunities – including settlement support, disability programs, community engagement initiatives and training and employment pathways. At the heart of everything we do is a drive for equality, empathy, and celebration of every individual. 

Media enquiries:

Hannah Gartrell, Head of Executive Communications and Media

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