No to Violence welcomes today’s announcement from the Victorian Government of $20.41 million funding for services that work with directly with perpetrators of family violence. No to Violence is the operator of the Men’s Referral Service which has seen an 11 per cent increase in call volumes in the last four weeks.
The Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Hon Gabrielle Williams, announced additional support for the sector to perform its critical function in supporting perpetrators to change their violent and abusive behaviour, as well as funding for accommodation and support to keep victims of family violence safe in their homes.
Jacqui Watt, Chief Executive Officer of No to Violence, said, “During this pandemic, the sector that works with men who use family violence has gone above and beyond to keep victims of family violence safe, and work with perpetrators to change their abusive and violence behaviour.
“Workloads have increased significantly, and our workers are exhausted. Today’s funding is a welcome boost our sector, which will enable the system to keep doing its work that is critical to improving safety for victims of family violence.
“No to Violence will work closely with our members and the Victorian Government to ensure that the funding is delivered to ensure that men who use violence are held to account, and supported to change their abusive and violence behaviour.”
This funding is timely, with many parts of the sector transitioning to technology-facilitated interventions. Due to physical distancing restrictions, many group programs have had to shut their doors and are attempting to engage in more innovative, but often resource intensive, ways.
Today’s announcement means the sector will be supported to keeps its doors open – even if those doors are virtual, rather than physical.
As part of today’s announcement, the Victorian Government funded No to Violence to trial a Perpetrator Accommodation and Support Service to house users of domestic and family violence during COVID-19 restrictions.
Men who are eligible include perpetrators of family violence who have been diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19, or perpetrators that present a high risk to their families.
“Minister Williams mentioned how important it was for people to know they can leave the house if they are experiencing family violence. This funding takes some of the burden off women and children, and means the perpetrator can leave whilst being held accountable,” Jacqui Watt said
“If you’re a man who is using abuse and violence against your family, there is a place to go for you to sort yourself out”
“It can be better than this. If you have been identified as using family violence and are an exclusion order, the free Perpetrator Accommodation and Support Service will provide you with the support to figure things out and keep your family safe”.
The program is expected to start late August. If you’re using family violence, or know someone who is, please contact the Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491).