Women and children who experience family violence will soon have access to innovative technology to help keep them safe in their homes and communities, under the Andrews Labor Government’s Personal Safety Initiative pilot.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson today announced that the Safe Futures Foundation will lead a consortium to undertake the pilot in metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria.
The $900,000 pilot will be trialled in Eastern Melbourne; Darebin, Whittlesea, Moreland, Hume; the Latrobe Valley and Wellington.
Safe Futures Foundation and its partners Quantum Support Services and WISHIN will provide safety devices and services to more than 70 women to test how technological interventions can be used to improve the safety of those experiencing family violence.
The consortium will provide case management services to ensure the technology - including personal safety cards and watches, personal alarms, home safety and surveillance - suits the circumstances of each individual and is part of a broader plan for safety and wellbeing.
It will work closely with community partners including Victoria Police to help clients and share important data.
The pilot delivers on an election commitment and is part of the Labor Government’s $81.3 million package to boost family violence services, including the establishment of Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence.
It comes as many get ready for the festive season, when the threat of family violence can be heightened.
It is important to be aware that support continues to be available during this period. Anyone seeking help can contact the Safe Steps 24/7 support service on 1800 015 188.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Experiencing control, abuse and violence in the home should never be the lived experience of any child. All women and children deserve to feel safe in their own home.”
“Initiatives such as this allow women and children to remain in their own homes and communities safely and ensures perpetrator accountability.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson
“Too many have lost their lives as a result of violence. As a state, and as a government, we have a responsibility to develop new and innovative approaches to end this harm”
“This pilot is just one part of our ongoing work to stop family violence and I am proud to be part of a government that is providing safer homes for more women and children.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021