The Andrews Labor Government is stepping up its support for victims of family violence by training almost 200 financial counsellors across Victoria to respond to economic abuse. Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz was in Ballarat today for the Family Violence for Financial Counsellors intensive training course together with staff from across regional Victoria.
The training is being delivered by Women’s Legal Service Victoria, in partnership with Women’s Information Referral Exchange, across 10 metropolitan and four regional locations.
More than 80 per cent of Victoria’s financial counsellors are now trained in family violence and economic abuse, thanks to the Labor Government.
In 2017/18, the Government provided $1.5 million for a specialist family violence financial counselling service, including the delivery of the training program, in response to the recommendations of the Family Violence Royal Commission.
The funding also provides for 10 full-time equivalent family violence financial counsellors across the state. These specialist staff have serviced more than 3,000 clients since commencement in October 2016.
Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential phone or face-to-face counselling sessions, and assist over 32,000 clients each year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz
“This program will help free women and their families from the shackles of economic abuse.”
“Financial counsellors across Victoria are now being trained to help women control their finances and rebuild their lives.”
Quotes attributable to acting Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Jill Hennessy
“Economic abuse is a serious form of family violence – that’s why specialist financial counselling is needed to help stop it in its tracks.”
“This is part of our record investment to tackle the scourge of family violence in all its forms.”