Our priorities are to:
- Bolster services for victims of domestic and family violence through additional funding and advocacy.
- Fully implement the GPS monitoring system for domestic and family violence offenders with data recorded to be used as evidence in prosecution.
- Implement aggravated offences and high penalties for repeat offenders who breach intervention orders.
- Increase the number of places in crisis accommodation services for women and children fleeing violence.
- Implement a rental subsidy scheme to help victims fleeing violence.
- Support the creation of a domestic violence personal protection app.
Domestic violence is severely under-reported, especially amongst women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
SA-BEST is committed to implementing programs and supporting advocacy groups aimed at reversing this would include supporting those services aimed at providing victims with education and financial independence.
The Women's Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service (WDVCAS) is a critical service being delivered by Victim Support Service (VSS).
WDVCAS directly assists victims of family and domestic abuse to navigate legal matters regarding intervention orders and tenancy disputes. They have a high success rate in obtaining private intervention orders despite operating the service with only two full-time lawyers (including a junior lawyer) and two-part-time lawyers.
The statewide service is currently underfunded and cannot cope with the overwhelming demand for services with increasing demand from women from CALD backgrounds.
SA-BEST is committed to providing $200,000 immediately in order to secure the services of two additional lawyers to alleviate the pressing demand.
In addition, SA-BEST commits to further funding for the service beyond the current funding deadline of 30 June 2019.
We are committed to bolstering this service which is projected to assist 800 women in 2018 and other similar services aimed at supporting domestic violence victims.
SA-BEST is committed to holding perpetrators to account by implementing the GPS monitoring system which is currently being trialed in South Australia, aimed at protecting victims from domestic violence offenders.
Too often victims report breaches of intervention orders to police after seeing offenders near their homes, places of work or near schools. However, without corroborating evidence these breaches are often not followed through.
Despite this, data released by the Courts Administration Authority shows the number of breaches that end in court has risen steadily since 2012, to more than 40 per week last year. This demonstrates what we already know, that domestic violence offenders are often repeat offenders.
SA-BEST supports victims of domestic and family violence in wanting to break the cycle of fear that permeates their lives even after they have made the brave decision to leave a violent partner. Victims deserve to live without constant fear.
The GPS tracking system has already been in place in Spain since 2005 and in many other places in the world for years. We know it works.
The data captured from the tracking system is vital for future court prosecutions.
A GPS monitoring system is currently being trialed in South Australia for people on bail or released on parole.
Almost one woman is killed by violence each week in Australia. We must act immediately and not delay when women’s lives are at risk.
SA-BEST will ensure that repeated breaches of an intervention order will be an aggravated offence subject to higher penalties.
SA-BEST will act decisively to ensure offenders cannot continue to flout the law and torment their victims. Victims should not have to live their lives constantly looking over their shoulders in fear.
We know that the major cause of homelessness amongst women includes domestic violence, sexual assault and family breakdown.
A study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that between 2011 and 2014, 36 per cent of the people – mostly women and children – who accessed homelessness services in Australia did so due to family violence.
SA-Best is committed to working with relevant stakeholders to increase the number of crisis accommodation services places available for women and children fleeing violence and importantly in equipping women with the necessary tools to rebuild their lives.
Catherine House is recognised as an exemplar of integrated services transforming the lives of women experiencing homelessness. Their Emergency Program is always full and as soon as they find a housing outcome for a woman and she leaves, another woman in crisis fills her place. They are currently fundraising to expand their Emergency Program with four additional places that won’t be funded under the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA).
SA-BEST is committed to providing Catherine House with an additional $100,000 annually to provide Casework to support the expansion of their Emergency Program.
In addition, SA-BEST is committed to providing Catherine House with $50,000 in order to assist them from moving away from a paper-based operation to an online system.
SA-BEST will also ensure that short to medium-term financial support is provided for people escaping domestic or family violence by way of a rental subsidy that helps people secure private rental accommodation so they do not return to the violent situation they are escaping from.
The financial support will be modelled on the NSW Rent Choice Start Safely program which consists of a $25 million rent support program that provides support for an initial three months and up to three years.