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We call for funding boost to NSW men’s behaviour change programs to help keep women and children safe 

The crisis continues. At least 63 women were killed by violence in Australia last year, and already this year a further 16 women have lost their lives. 

In NSW, domestic and family violence has claimed 143 lives in the last five years.  

At the same time, men’s domestic violence programs in NSW teetering on the brink of crisis as funding shortfalls impede their ability to meet best practice standards, putting women and children in danger across the state.  

In a bid to increase efforts against domestic violence, a significant budget increase has been proposed by No to Violence to boost Men’s Behaviour Change Programs in NSW. 

The proposal, outlined by No to Violence in their 2024-25 Pre-Budget Submission, highlights the critical need for increased core funding to address chronic underfunding significantly impacting existing programs.    

The current NSW family violence sector struggles to keep up with demand, leaving over 480 men on waitlists with an average wait time of 3 – 5 months. This means that every day these men wait to gain access to programs, the safety of children and women are jeopardised.  

This prolonged delay also means that men in some regional areas are traveling long distances to attend programs. Regional and remote service providers emphasise the challenges, stating, “Some clients are travelling two-and-a-half hours each way to attend programs…it’s absolutely ridiculous that there isn’t a program closer.” 

According to a report from the NSW Women’s Safety Commissioner, NSW Police receive one call every four minutes asking for help to escape family violence. Over 140,000 calls are made every year.  

This cannot continue. We must shift the burden away from victim-survivors and squarely onto the shoulders of those who perpetrate violence: men. 

Case management services are also feeling the financial strain, as they play a fundamental role in preparing men to meaningfully engage in change programs. As emphasised by service providers, noting. “Someone in our group was case managed for 16 weeks and it acted as a stepping stone into a group space so that he could participate and actively acknowledge his behaviour. Losing the case management funding was devastating.”  
This process also plays a crucial role in keeping these men in view and supported to take responsibility for their violence. 

Funding outlined in NTV’s submission will mean approximately 290 additional men across NSW will receive case management and medium to long term intervention services at any given time.  

You can read the full submission here.