The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring family violence and sexual assault victims across Melbourne’s west have access to the tailored support they need at the newly opened Wyndham Multi-Disciplinary Centre (MDC).
Minister for Police Lisa Neville, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today joined Victoria Police to launch the $10 million centre, funded by the Labor Government, which will ensure victim-survivors have access to the best facilities and support.
The Labor Government is also investing $25 million over four years to better support survivors of family violence and sexual assault by ensuring they have access to counselling.
This brings the Labor Government’s support for Victorian sexual assault services to $27 million in 2018/19, an increase of $5.5 million or around 25 per cent since 2014.
Around 45 detectives, intelligence analysts and training police officers from Victoria Police’s Family Violence Unit and the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT) will work together alongside child protection staff, sexual assault counsellors and other support workers.
This includes workers from Department of Health and Human Services, West Centre Against Sexual Assault, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Women’s Health West, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, and Royal Children’s Hospital Gatehouse, which will move into the facility in coming months.
These agencies will work together to develop support plans to ensure victims do not have to deal with multiple agencies in different locations.
Victim-survivors will also have access to forensic medical suites to enable forensic examinations on site and ongoing support with legal processes such as support in court and witness statements.
Victoria Police has seen an increase in reporting rates, referrals, joint investigations and an increase to the number of victims receiving counselling since the centres were launched by the Labor Government.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“This vital $10 million support hub will give victim-survivors the support they need under the one roof.”
“More victims and survivors will be encouraged to come forward to seek help and report crimes across the region with police, legal and counselling services will be offered in the one location.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“This is a holistic approach that puts victims first. Victims of sexual assault shouldn’t have to travel from service to service repeating their story every time. This will help them get the help they need in one place.”
Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas
“The centre will play an important role in Werribee and Maribyrnong – providing better treatment options for family violence, sexual assault and child abuse victim-survivors.
Reviewed 19 August 2020