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The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committing $25.57 million to implement Tasmania’s first Family Violence Action Plan. Premier Will Hodgman has personally led the response of Government and today asked Tasmanians to join him and lead a stand against family violence.

Family violence is an utterly unacceptable social ill that has no place in our communities. The Safe Homes, Safe Families: Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015-2020 launched today, paves the way to a Tasmania where families are safe.

Through the Action Plan we will bring family violence from behind closed doors and make an unprecedented investment in prevention and early intervention, as well as holding perpetrators to account.

The $25.57 million we are committing over the next four years is in addition to the $16 million direct and $24 million indirect already spent annually on family violence, and the additional funding committed in the 2015-16 State Budget.

We are investing in priorities identified over recent months by the External Consulting Group and the wider community, based on best research and practice. These include:

• Safe Families Tasmania
We are investing more than $8 million to establish a multi-agency, state-wide collaborative unit to coordinate support services for victims and hold perpetrators to account. This will involve departments including Justice, Education, DPEM and DHHS. This includes working with Non-Government Organisations to create Safe Choices, to provide support for those in violent relationships and those trying to exit violent relationships.

• Support for families and children
We are investing $2 million in additional crisis accommodation, $2.4 million to lease 50 rental properties to provide supported housing and $4 million in additional counselling and support for children and adults affected by family violence. We are also investing $3.14 million in social workers and psychologists to work in our schools across all three regions of our state.

• Strengthen legal responses
We are investing in a legal system that better supports victims and holds perpetrators to account. This includes $1.2 million to extend legal assistance to people experiencing family violence, $1.2 million to appoint three additional dedicated police prosecutors, and $2 million to support perpetrator programs for low to medium risk offenders.

• Change attitudes and behaviours
To achieve lasting change we must change attitudes and behaviours that lead to family violence, and we are investing $685,000 in this. We will build on existing programs in Government schools and deliver a Respectful Relationship program from K-12, roll out White Ribbon’s Workplace Accreditation Program across all Government agencies, join the national OurWATCh initiative and take a lead role in supporting the national campaign to reduce family violence.

The Action Plan will build on work that is already being done under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2020, and will complement the Council of Australian Governments agenda.

Thanks to the members of the External Consultative Group and broader community for their passion, commitment and knowledge which has helped to develop the Action Plan.

If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence or sexual assault, call the Safe at Home Family Violence Response and Referral Line on 1800 633 937 or visit www.1800respect.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Safe Homes, Safe Families: Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015-2020 is available online at: www.dpac.tas.gov.au/safehomessafefamilies

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