Women experiencing or at risk of family violence will continue to get access to the services they and their children need, with a two-year funding package for women’s health services across Victoria.

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas today announced Women’s Health Loddon Mallee is one 12 women’s health services in Victoria to receive a share of $3 million over the next two years to continue their work in preventing family violence.

The continuation of funding will ensure these services can build on their vital work to deliver prevention of family violence training, advice and support to organisations in their local areas, including local government and health services.

Of the 12 services receiving funding, nine are regionally based while three operate state-wide.

This investment includes $600,000 from our recent $59.4 million mental health package to help meet demand as Victorians reach out for help with stress and isolation during coronavirus. It’s also in addition to the $40.2 million package for crisis accommodation and specialist services for people suffering or at risk of family violence.

Family violence is a national emergency, with one woman killed at the hands of a current or former partner every week. It is the leading cause of death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to 44 years.

Disaster events cause enormous emotional, social and financial stress, and research shows this can compound the gendered drivers of violence and exacerbate the conditions that lead to violence.

The Andrews Labor Government established Australia’s first ever Royal Commission into Family Violence and has invested $2.9 billion implementing each and every one of its 227 recommendations.

Significant progress has already been made with 154 recommendations already implemented and the remaining all underway.

This includes establishing the Free from Violence strategy, Victoria’s plan to break the cycle of family violence and all forms of violence against women, and Building from Strength, a 10-Year Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response, of which this funding program forms part.

Quote attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams

“Research shows that during times of crisis family violence can increase. It is more important than ever that the health services that support women and families continue have the resources they need to keep Victorians safe.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation around world, including here in Victoria – in these uncertain times prevention of family violence remains a critical priority for our Government.”

“Women’s Health Loddon Mallee do a great job of supporting vulnerable women and children in our community, and they are still here providing support in these challenging times.”