Family violence is a national emergency. Every year, it claims the lives of women and children. Every year, our system fails to support victims when they need it most. That’s why, before we were elected, we promised we would do everything we could to put an end to family violence. We launched Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence which delivered a final report in March 2016 and made 227 recommendations to fix a broken system. In last year’s Budget, we invested $572 million to begin work on the Royal Commission's most urgent recommendations. This included extra funding for counsellors and prevention programs, as well as an investment in housing and crisis refuges, ensuring victims are not forced to choose between an unsafe home and the streets. In November 2016, the Andrews Labor Government released Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change, our 10-year strategy for every Royal Commission recommendation, and for building a future where Victorian families are free from family violence. The Victorian Budget 2017/18 provides a further $1.9 billion to deliver on this commitment. This investment will help us respond to the needs of victim survivors, keep them and their children safe, and hold perpetrators to account.
This Budget provides:
This Budget provides:
- $448.1 million to establish 17 Support and Safety Hubs, because getting the right support at the right time is critical. These crucial contact and referral points will link victim survivors and their children to the support and services they need. The first Hubs will be launched in Barwon, Bayside Peninsula, Inner Gippsland, Mallee and North-East Melbourne regions from late 2017
- $270.8 million for victim assistance, after-hours crisis support, counselling and therapy, including for children
- $269.4 million to enhance the response of Victoria's legal system to family violence. This includes implementing the specialist Family Violence Courts model in several locations across the State, expanding legal assistance services for victim survivors and a new case management system for courts.
- $133.2 million for housing. This includes finishing the job of rebuilding family violence refuges, so victims are safe and can start their recovery. It also includes new Aboriginal family violence refuges, leasing more private rental properties for victims, and additional public housing
- $95.4 million to strengthen our family violence workforce. This includes new workers in mental health and alcohol and drug services, expanded training across a wide range of services, and initiatives to recruit the next generation of workers
- $76.9 million to hold perpetrators of family violence to account and to change perpetrator behaviour
- $33.5 million to provide greater support for Aboriginal Victorians and Aboriginal organisations and communities, including through prevention and early intervention programs, and support for victim survivors
- Tragically, many children also experience or witness family violence. To support these children, the Government is investing in early intervention with $29.2 million to expand the Family Services program, which assists vulnerable children and their families. A further $131.9 million will expand child protection services and placements for children who are unable to live safely with their families.
At the same time, we want to stop family violence from happening in the first place. That’s why we are launching Free from Violence: Victoria’s strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women to keep Victorian families safe. We will invest $50.7 million in this strategy and in delivering ongoing prevention activities by establishing a dedicated Prevention Agency.