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Training for faith leaders, CALD Communities to extend care to women and children in crisis

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Increased training for Faith Leaders and CALD Communities to better support women and children who experience family, domestic and sexual violence will be funded as part of the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to ending gender-based violence in one generation. 

The National FDSV Training for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities and Faith Leaders Program will help address the unique barriers that CALD women and children can face in their communities experiencing gender-based violence and gender inequality. 

domestic violence march
A march held by The Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing for domestic violence last year. Photo: Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing, Facebook.

A total of $3 million in funding will be made available for the program, with the provider of the training to be chosen through a grant round.

CALD communities and Faith Leaders will gain greater knowledge and understanding of the indicators of family, domestic and sexual violence, as well as intervention and support strategies that will help them to improve awareness and attitudes in their communities and respond to disclosures of abuse. 

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said this will importantly include referring women and children to appropriate support services. 

Amanda Rishworth
The Hon Amanda Rishworth. Photo: Ben Searcy.

“Through this new program, we’re taking decisive action – activating faith and CALD community leaders, who can be powerful in effecting change in their communities,” Minister Rishworth said.

“We are aware that there are a number of people in Australia that may feel isolated or are unable to access already existing family, domestic and sexual violence services,” said Minister Rishworth.

“By working in partnership with community and faith leaders across Australia, we hope to reach through the barriers in CALD and faith communities and provide the necessary support to those in need.”

Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot said women from migrant and refugee backgrounds can often experience higher rates of financial abuse, forced and underage marriage, and coercive control. 

justine elliot
Justine Elliot. Photo: Australian Labor Party.

“Faith and community leaders play a key role in championing real change in the community,” Assistant Minister Elliot said. 

“This includes challenging the attitudes and behaviours that cause and condone violence against women and children.” 

“Through cultural, linguistic, and spiritual connections, faith leaders can help to ensure that vital programs and support are widely accessible within their community.”

The Faith Leaders and CALD Program is part of the Government’s $11.9 million First Action Plan Priorities Fund which targets emerging priorities under the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.

Assessment of applications for the grant funding is currently underway, with the successful provider/s of the training to work alongside specialist FDSV services, and develop and deliver the training nationally over three years to 2025-26.

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, chat online via 1800RESPECT.org.au or text 0458 737 732.

More information about the grant is available on the Community Grant Hub.

More information on the First Action Plan is available on the Department of Social Services website.

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