A surge in Queensland children and women seeking support for domestic and family violence (DFV) will see more than $4 million in new COVID-19 funding channelled into specialist counselling.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the additional funding for counseling was an important part of Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
“From Southport to Cairns, the Palaszczuk Government is distributing an extra $2.8 million in Commonwealth funding for specialist counselling and support exclusively for children and young people traumatised by DFV,” Ms Farmer said.
“As I have travelled around Queensland to meet with community-based domestic and family violence service providers, they’ve consistently revealed a sharp spike in demand for services, particularly children’s counselling.
“One service in Central Queensland reports a 30 per cent surge in counselling hours for children and women devastated by escalating violence at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know violence at home can have a big impact on young lives without timely intervention and that’s what makes this investment in counseling so vitally important to Queensland’s COVID recovery plan.
“This Commonwealth funding will enable 14 services to help more Queensland children affected by violence at home to get their lives back on track with expert counselling.”
Ms Farmer said the 14 services including Micah Projects, Community Action, South Burnett CTC, Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast, the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane and Uniting Care would each receive $100,000 to boost support exclusively for children.
“A further four services have been granted between $200,000 and $400,000 to employ extra staff to support the recovery and wellbeing of both women and children affected by DFV,” Ms Farmer said.
“We know COVID-19 has created anxiety for many families with a perfect storm of drugs, alcohol and financial insecurity brewing a dark and destructive cloud of domestic and family violence in some households.
“I’ve also delivered $800,000 to another eight community-based services to employ more staff to meet the needs of women impacted by DFV and looking for an exit plan to a new life.”
The Palaszczuk Government has spent more than a half-a-billion dollars and $7.5 million in COVID contingency funding to address DFV and support Queenslanders in need.
“Domestic and family violence have no place in Queensland,” the Minister said.
“But Government can’t do this alone, the entire state must be part of the solution to stopping the violence once and for all.
“There are no excuses; each and every Queenslander has a responsibility to report DFV when and where it occurs.”
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer