A new program aimed at upping the support for domestic violence victims will roll out in the Macleay later this year.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward, and Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, have announced the roll out of the Safer Pathway program in the Mid North Coast Local Area Command (LAC) from September 2017.
The Safer Pathway aims to ensure domestic violence victims receive a consistent and effective response by bringing together local agency representatives to create a streamlined, integrated referral pathway for victims who are at threat to their health or safety.
June Wilson, executive officer at Kempsey Family Support Service and a director at DV New South Wales, said “we welcome it to the Mid North Coast”.
She said “it’s a very successful program” and said she was hopeful it would help further increase support for domestic violence victims in the Macleay.
While operating in the Mid North Coast Local Area Command, the program will also operate across two different court systems at Kempsey and Port Macquarie, but June was confident that if that could be navigated, it’ll be a big boost for domestic violence victims.
“It’s a big initiative to have a cohesive and strategic response," she said.
Ms Goward said the initiative aims to reduce doubling-up for victims between government organisations.
“Victims will have easier access to the services they need. They will no longer have to re-tell their story to a multitude of government agencies,” Ms Goward said.
The NSW Government has committed $53 million over four years to expand Safer Pathway state-wide, with 21 new locations rolled out in 2016-17.
Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, welcomed the announcement.
“This is a major step forward in dealing with the scourge of domestic violence; people experiencing domestic and family violence will receive tailored, multi-agency support.
“Safer Pathway will change how domestic violence is managed in our community. The tailored support that this program will provide is crucial,” Mrs Pavey said.
The agencies involved in Safer Pathways include: police, health, corrections, family and community services, and education, along with local specialist non-government domestic and family violence services.