Further funding for Tasmania’s Family and Sexual Violence Services

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

Further funding for Tasmania’s Family and Sexual Violence Services

10 January 2022

Eliminating family violence remains a top priority, which is why the Tasmanian and Australian Governments are pleased to announce additional funding for Tasmania’s family and sexual violence services under the National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses 2021-23 (National Partnership).

Under the National Partnership, Tasmania will receive $5.65 million over two years (2021-22 and 2022-23).

Under the first instalment of this new National Partnership, $1.413 million is being provided for five important initiatives to address frontline service demand in Tasmania:

  • Additional counselling for adults affected by family violence (Engender Equality);
  • Additional counselling for children and young people affected by family violence (Australian Childhood Foundation);
  • Additional transitional housing for people affected by family violence through the Rapid Rehousing Initiative;
  • Additional funding for the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes program, which provides security upgrades so women can remain safely in their home; and
  • Funding to extend a pilot of the Family Violence Migration Service to support people on temporary visas affected by family violence (Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service).

The remaining National Partnership funding will be released over the next 18 months, and we will continue to work closely with our community-based specialist services to respond to emerging issues and ensure support is available where it is most needed.

In addition, the Tasmanian Government will also be releasing our third family and sexual violence action plan in July 2022 which will build on our successes, and further refine and target our efforts to achieve our goal that every Tasmanian is able to live free from violence.

Further strengthening Tasmania’s family violence laws

Elise Archer, Attorney-General
Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

Further strengthening Tasmania’s family violence laws

13 December 2021

A draft bill to introduce a new standalone criminal offence of non-fatal strangulation, choking and suffocation, and to amend the definition of ‘consent’ in relation to stealthing has been released today for community consultation.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government recognises that non-fatal strangulation, choking or suffocation is a significant form of violence, which can be a precursor for escalation in the severity of family violence.

It is never acceptable, which is why we went to the election promising to strengthen our laws and send a strong message it will not be tolerated in Tasmania.

The introduction of a standalone offence appropriately recognises the seriousness of this behaviour, allowing it to be charged and prosecuted as a specific indictable offence in its own right.

Importantly, it would carry a statutory maximum penalty of 21 years’ imprisonment – consistent with most crimes in the Criminal Code Act (1924).

It also addresses Action 30 of Safe Homes, Families, Communities: Tasmania’s action plan for family and sexual violence 2019-2022 which commits to implementing legislative reform to strengthen legal responses to family and sexual violence.

The Government has listened to our stakeholders and the community in drafting this legislation, and we encourage everyone interested to view the legislation and make a submission.

The Bill also amends the definition of consent in relation to ‘stealthing’ which has been the subject of legislative reform in other states.

Specific recognition of ‘stealthing’ in the law will help educate the public, discourage would-be offenders, and encourage complaints and prosecutions for sexual offences such as rape.

This legislation confirms we are continuing to ensure our laws are strong and robust to protect victim survivors of family violence, and ensure perpetrators are appropriately punished for the severity of their crimes.

The Bill is available for public comment through the Department of Justice website at https://www.justice.tas.gov.au/community-consultation/consultations/criminal-code-amendment-bill-2022, with submissions closing on Friday 18 February 2022.