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$87 Million Boost For Family Violence Support Services

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with implementing Family Violence Royal Commission recommendations through further investments in support services for victims of family violence and sexual assault and the appointment of an Implementation Monitor.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley today announced a further funding boost to these crucial services across Victoria.

The funding will more than double the capacity of specialist family violence service providers to offer case management to family violence victims – with at least 9,000 women and children expected to benefit in 2016-17.

It will expand case management, men’s family violence services, counselling for women and children, flexible support packages and sexual assault support services as well as provide greater support for women and children from Aboriginal or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD).

Highlights of the investment include:

  • $45.6 million over two years to boost specialist family violence client support
  • $17 million in 2016-17 for flexible support packages
  • $6.4 million over two years to support adults, young people and children are victims of sexual assault
  • $5.2 million for men’s family violence services
  • $5 million over two years for counselling for women and children
  • $6 million over two years for the design and implementation of new family violence services.

Women and children will get the support they need through safety planning and crisis response, with comprehensive help to access housing options, legal support, financial counselling and therapeutic interventions.

The funding boost will provide a 480 per cent increase in Flexible Support Packages for victims of family violence, with 5,100 packages available for practical support including rental or relocation costs, furnishings, clothing and books for children or security measures to improve safety at home.

Sexual assault victims will be supported through crisis care, counselling and advocacy, and more than 1900 men who use violence will receive support to change their attitudes and behaviour.

This major investment is part of the $572 million immediate response to the Family Violence Royal Commission announced earlier this year.

The Government today also announced Former Acting Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Tim Cartwright, APM, has been appointed as Victoria’s Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor.

As Implementation Monitor, Mr Cartwright will hold the Government to account for delivering reforms that protect victims and hold perpetrators to account, with responsibility for monitoring the implementation of all 227 recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“The lasting impact of family violence and sexual assault can’t be underestimated – and that’s why we’re acting to ensure every victim in Victoria can access the support they need, when they need it.”

“We’re also working to end the vicious cycle of family violence by investing in men’s behaviour change programs across the state.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

“The safety and security of victims of family violence is our number one priority. Helping women and children to find suitable accommodation or access legal and financial support are practical supports that can make a real difference to their lives.”

Quotes attributable to Domestic Violence Victoria CEO Fiona McCormack

“This funding is further evidence that the Victorian Government is leading the nation in its response to meet the huge and growing demand on family violence services.”

“It’s a lesson that must be taken up by the federal and other state governments to ensure the safety and security of women and children across Australia.”

Quote attributed to Family Violence Implementation Monitor Tim Cartwright

“I’m privileged to be appointed to this role, I have a long and passionate involvement in addressing family violence in our community. This is a great opportunity to work with so many other committed people making a difference.”