A Safe Place To Escape Family Violence During Coronavirus

The Victorian Government will ensure women and children escaping family violence have a safe place to go and the support they need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams and Minister for Housing Richard Wynne today announced the Victorian Government will invest $40.2 million in crisis accommodation and specialist services for people suffering or at risk of family violence.

The Government will invest $20 million in short-term accommodation for family violence victim survivors who do not feel safe isolating or recovering from coronavirus at home.

The accommodation will provide a safe haven women and children escaping family violence throughout the pandemic, and will include support to help them get back on their feet once it has passed.

An extra $20.2 million will help Victorian family violence services meet the expected increase in demand during the coronavirus pandemic and provide critical help for victim-survivors.

This includes nearly $10.4 million to help more women and children escaping family violence get access to safe accommodation and related support, and $5.1 million for more flexible support packages across the state.

Just under $5 million will go towards new technology and protective equipment for up to 120 family violence and sexual assault organisations, so they can adapt their services and keep their staff safe, while protecting and supporting victim survivors and their families.

The package also includes targeted funding for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to meet additional demand for family violence case management and crisis support.

This investment is in addition to the $6 million provided by the Commonwealth Government to help meet the needs of Victorians experience family violence during the coronavirus pandemic.

For help and support, and to find out more, visit safesteps.org.au or call safesteps 24/7 on 1800 015 188.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams

“For some women, the biggest fear during this pandemic won’t be coronavirus – it will be the fear they can’t escape a violent partner. That’s why this funding is so important – it will give them and their children a safe place to go.”

“We’ve worked with our specialist family violence services to identify and deliver exactly what they need to help Victorians escaping family violence throughout the coronavirus pandemic. No one will be left behind. 

Quote attributable to Minister for Housing Richard Wynne

“This extra accommodation will mean any Victorian experiencing family violence throughout this pandemic will have somewhere safe to stay when they need it most.”