Prevention and early intervention strategies targeting violence against women and children are in the sights of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government as it officially becomes a member of Our Watch.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said joining the national organisation would build on the Government's existing efforts to stop domestic violence before it begins.
"I've met and listened to organisations fighting this epidemic, and I'm confident this membership is a valuable investment to help stem the prevalence of domestic, family and sexual violence and ultimately to save lives," Mr Speakman said.
"We have already invested more than $390 million over four years to support victims and survivors while holding perpetrators to account. Joining Our Watch will continue that work."
Mr Speakman said prevention and early intervention are two key components under the NSW Government's Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for Reform.
This includes a $20 million Domestic Violence Innovation Fund for community-led initiatives. The latest round of recipients were granted $12 million for 13 projects to support early childhood services, training for clinicians to deliver workshops, tailored strategies to support refugee women, and men's engagement and accountability projects.
"Working with Our Watch will significantly bolster these efforts by strengthening awareness, education and prevention efforts across the state, while contributing to a more cohesive national all-of-government approach that tackles domestic violence head-on," Mr Speakman said.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said women overwhelmingly are more likely than men to experience domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, and to be victims of domestic homicide.
"As the Government's advocate for women, I am totally horrified by the number of women across Australia who are being killed by their current or former partner," Ms Taylor said.
"Joining forces with Our Watch will help educate our communities that there is never any excuse for violence, and that's why we need to stop these attitudes before they begin."
Our Watch Chair Natasha Stott Despoja AM said preventing violence against women and their children requires a collaborative effort, with all jurisdictions as members and all hands on deck.
"The good news is that violence against women and their children is preventable, and we thank the NSW Government for joining our truly national mission to eliminate it," Ms Stott Despoja said.
Domestic Violence NSW CEO Moo Baulch was delighted that Minister Speakman had recognised the benefits of joining Our Watch, and said prevention of violence requires a strong commitment from our leaders to drive change.
"Today's announcement is a significant step forward for NSW's commitment to evidence-based primary prevention," Ms Baulch said.
Our Watch was established in 2013 to lead nationwide change in behaviours that lead to violence against women and children. It focuses on evidence-based primary prevention strategies delivered via partnerships to help stop violence before it happens.
To learn more about Our Watch visit www.ourwatch.org.au.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence or sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).