News National Boost for domestic violence helpline

Boost for domestic violence helpline

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The Federal Government has pledged an extra $4 million in funding for the 1800 RESPECT helpline for the victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said there had been a surge in calls to the counselling service.

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“The service was facing increased demand and the Government is responding to ensure we are able to assist those women who need it,” Mr Morrison said.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, said since the appointment of Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year, talk about the issue of domestic violence had increased.

Ms Batty became a campaigner against family violence after her 11-year-old son Luke was killed by his father at cricket practice last year.

Ms Cash said the Government was responding to increased awareness of the issue.

“With more victims speaking out about this scourge and seeking help to escape such violence, we are responding accordingly with appropriate resourcing,” Ms Cash said.

The Government is also considering a plan to monitor domestic violence offenders using GPS technology.

The plan will be on the agenda when State and Commonwealth Governments gather for the next COAG meeting.

GPS tracking devices are already used for some sex offenders in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

Ms Cash said the measure would target those who posed a significant risk to the safety of women and children.

She said COAG would assess where the gaps were in current Commonwealth, State and Territory frameworks and what further action should be undertaken.