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It is time for the Territory to be heard on the issue of family, domestic and sexual violence, as the crisis of abuse deepens.
Next week the Northern Territory Council of Social Service will be attending the online National Summit on Women’s Safety. The Summit forms part of the Federal Government’s consultation on the next 12 year national plan to end violence against women and their children.

NTCOSS CEO Deborah Di Natale said it is tragic that such a Summit begins with news of a murdered woman in Darwin.
“We hear a lot about house and business break-ins but those crime rates have all gone down in the past year. Meanwhile domestic violence related assault in the NT has increased by a staggering 35.93 percent. Almost two thirds of all assaults in the NT are family and domestic violence related. A week ago in Darwin a woman was murdered. These statistics are lives destroyed. They are children traumatised. They are communities grieving. Enough is enough.

“The NT has long had the worst domestic violence rates in the country. It cannot simply be blamed on COVID. It needs action.
“Currently national funding for domestic violence services is provided on a per capita basis, not on the basis of need, and next week at the Women’s Safety Summit NTCOSS will be joining the call for that to urgently change.

“We need a national plan for all Australians, which means improving remote and regional services, and building on community-designed culturally appropriate responses.

“This is not an opportunity for pork-barrelling. The Federal Government can not pick and choose ‘trial sites’ for programs. The nation’s response to violence against women must integrate with the national men’s health strategy; with the national mental health strategy; with the national housing strategy, if we are to see the lasting change we desperately need.”

This year NTCOSS has helped deliver Territory-wide Domestic and Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Training to services that may be the first to come in contact with survivors of domestic and family violence, such as health, housing and education.

“Consistent evidence-based training to support workers to keep people safe is an important step forward, but it needs to be maintained, and attended by police and justice staff as well,” said Ms Deborah Di Natale.

“The Safety Summit and the National Plan needs to be ambitious. Territorians deserve no less.”


The Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) is the peak body for the Social and Community Sector in the NT and an advocate for social justice on behalf of people and communities in the NT, who may be affected by poverty and disadvantage.
For media enquiries contact Kate Sieper: 0466 745 615