Politics

Victoria Just Invested More Than $130 Million In Services For Domestic Violence Victims

Housing Minister Martin Foley said the investment was about supporting Victorians "at a time when they need it most."

The Victorian state government will invest $133.2 million in housing and support services for victims of domestic violence, as part of its ongoing response to the findings of last year’s Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The Andrews Labor government confirmed the details of the funding package on Sunday. $48 million will be used to built 110 new public housing properties specifically for use by women and children who have been affected by family violence. A further $83.2 million will be spent redeveloping existing refuges, and on the construction of two new Aboriginal crisis centres.

The package will also see $17.4 million invested in specially trained family violence advisers, who will be embedded in existing drug, alcohol and mental health services across the state. $2 million will go towards private leases for people in need of emergency housing. $500,000 will also be invested in support services for abuse victims in Victoria’s LGBTIQ and Muslim communities.

State Housing Minister Martin Foley said the investment was about supporting Victorians “at a time when they need it most.”

“Many women are forced to leave their home and are often faced with the dilemma of where to go,” said Foley. “This funding will provide that refuge, that place in the storm required in the short and longer term.”

Speaking to ABC News, Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack welcomed the announcement. “The Royal Commission highlighted how few options women have when they leave violent relationships,” she said. “This is about addressing the chronic poverty and homelessness that so many women and children can experience as a result of family violence.”

The new funding package comes 14 months after the Royal Commission made 227 recommendations to help combat family violence. State Premier Daniel Andrew since pledged to implement every single one. In March, he told ABC News that the government had made “great progress”, while adding that they had “much more” still to do.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.

Feature image via ABC documentary Hitting Home