We know from victim-survivors and frontline domestic violence workers that one of the challenges during Covid-19 has been finding a safe place to seek help. It was devastating to hear a recent Australian Institute of Criminology report find that domestic violence had risen during the pandemic, but a large proportion of victims were not reporting to police.
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence the Hon Mark Speakman MP SC launched the NSW Government's Speak Out campaign in June this year to help encourage domestic violence victim-survivors to access support via the NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63).
The Domestic Violence Line can help victim-survivors to develop a safety plan, find accommodation, including for their children, provide information about services and advise on how best to contact police, lawyers and the courts. It is a free and confidential service and interpreters are also available.
To date, the campaign has been in shopping centres including restrooms, near supermarkets and pharmacies, at bus stops, and in hospitals and medical centres where victim-survivors may feel safe to contact the NSW Domestic Violence Line. However, the campaign has recently been expanded through a new partnership with the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and Clubs NSW.
It builds on the NSW Government's ongoing commitment to reduce domestic and family violence, including the NSW and Commonwealth investment of more than $21 million to boost frontline services across the State in May in response to COVID-19. Camden pubs, clubs, and hotels have all thrown their weight behind the NSW Government's Speak Out campaign which has been fantastic to see.
I would like to acknowledge support the Camden- Wollondilly Domestic Violence Committee and the Macarthur Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service provide to victims of Domestic Violence in Camden and the Macarthur region.