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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 195

National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children

(Questions No. 568 and 576)

Ms Butler asked the Minister for Social Services, in writing, on 9 November 2016 and 10 November 2016:

To ask the Minister for Social Services—In respect of the Government's announcement on 28 October that it would commit $15 million, for the period of the Third Action Plan for the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, towards improving and expanding national domestic and family violence services, and specifically, that an unidentified proportion of that money would go towards 'funding the 1800RESPECT helpline to implement the new first responder model, to assist with the increase in demand', what proportion of the $15 million will go towards this measure.

Mr Porter: The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

Of the $15 million for frontline services announced on 21 June 2016, $5.8 million has been allocated to 1800RESPECT through the Third Action Plan over three years for the first response triage model for online and telephone counselling, and for an investigation into the viability of online video counselling. An additional $2.058 million over two years has been allocated to undertake work to improve 1800RESPECT's service responses and referral pathways for women with disability experiencing, or at risk of, sexual assault, domestic and family violence, in response to consultation with the disability sector.

The implementation of the first response triage model has been successful. The percentage of abandoned calls has reduced from 44 per cent in 2015-16 to an average of 5.5 per cent since implementation. The 1800RESPECT service is also answering at least 80 per cent of calls within 20 seconds. This means women contacting the service are now having their calls answered and receiving the support they need, when they need it.