The federal government has announced a new $150 million package to tackle domestic violence across Australia, including $20 million to trial a new GPS tracking program for domestic violence perpetrators.
The GPS tracking trial has been announced by Women’s Safety Minister Senator Anne Ruston, ahead of the federal budget set to be handed down on March 29.
The government says the package will also allow experts to sweep the homes of survivors for hidden surveillance devices, and install new security technology like cameras, bug sweeps and safe phones.
“We want to support women and children to remain in their home or a home of their choice, where it is safe and appropriate to do so, through safety planning and the provision of personal safety alarms, security cameras, dash cameras and other technology solutions,” Minister Ruston said.
“Through increased investment we will progressively establish a national provider to ensure women across the country have access to the same standard of support.”
The GPS tracking program comes after a successful trial in Tasmania that saw improved police response times and a reduction of dangerous perpetrator behaviour.
“We hear all too often that perpetrators flagrantly ignore the conditions of family violence orders and continue to be violent, harass and stalk their victims,” Minister Ruston said.
“This program has a proven track record of keeping Tasmanian women safer, making perpetrators more accountable and improving police response times through real time tracking.
“Through a $20 million fund we are providing other states and territories with the resources to trial similar electronic monitoring projects within their jurisdictions.
“Electronic monitoring is not the panacea to keep women safe but it is another tool in the tool kit as we seek to address the full life cycle of violence across prevention, early intervention, response and recovery.”
$26.6 million will be dedicated to online safety initiatives including supporting the eSafety Commission to set up a team of experts to provide practical support to address technology-facilitated abuse.
Senator Anne Ruston has also announced a new advertising campaign aimed at encouraging parents to talk to their children about respectful behaviour and relationships. A new 60 second advertisement has been released as part of the government’s Stop it at the Start campaign, called Jack and Ava.
The advertisement will run on television and social media, and posters will be put up in public spaces.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family and domestic violence, you can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service offering support for Australian men anywhere, anytime. You can call on 1300 78 99 78.