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.

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, welcomed the Government’s $40.2 million investment in specialist services and crisis accommodation for people suffering or at risk of family violence – including $440,630 for Centre for Non-Violence in Bendigo.

Centre for Non-Violence, who provide family violence response across the Macedon Ranges Shire, will use the funding for:

• More capacity for phone-based and online responses, and outreach support
• Assisting family violence case management services and delivery of crisis response – including addressing costs associated with support such as housing and emergency accommodation, transport, personal safety responses, medical costs and material aid.
• Responding to changes in service delivery as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

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.

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

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.

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Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas
“For some in our community, home is already an unsafe place. Sudden unemployment, extended periods of isolation and the family at home together, can contribute to a heightened risk of family violence.”

“Family violence frontline services, just like Centre for Non-Violence, continue to operate to support vulnerable women, children and families across our community.”

Quotes attributable to Centre for Non-Violence CEO, Margaret Augerinos:

“This funding will help boost our crisis case management support and brokerage funding and flexible funding, which will help women and children to access safety.”

“We expect that as we see Covid-19 restriction ease in the coming weeks and months, our service will see increased demand.”