MEMBERS STATEMENT: FAMILY VIOLENCE
Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations)
I update the house about important progress to tackle the issue of family violence in my electorate of Werribee. I joined Ingrid Stitt, a member for Western Metropolitan Region, and Paula Piccinini of Safe Futures Foundation at the new Wyndham Family Violence refuge, an important facility for victim survivors of family violence.
Safe Futures is the largest provider of crisis refuge responses in Victoria and responds to the needs of approximately 1200 women and children who have experienced family violence each year across the state.
As a government we are committed to tackling the devastating issue of family violence and want to ensure that victim survivors have access to meaningful support services and accommodation facilities. A crucial part of this commitment is the adoption of key recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, including phasing out older-style communal refuges and moving to a ‘core and cluster’ style. This style addresses a number of barriers that many women face when seeking crisis refuge, and this is what the Wyndham family violence refuge is modelled on. It features onsite support services in a ‘core’ building as well as self-contained units all on the one parcel of land, with a communal gathering area.
Whilst victim survivors often feel isolated in their circumstances, the core and cluster model provides an opportunity for socialising for the survivors and their children.
It was an honour to tour this important facility, one which will provide a level of independent living that accommodates victim survivors with disabilities and other needs. In the 2019–20 budget Safe Futures Foundation received approximately $4.6 million to deliver a wide range of services for vulnerable Victorians, including funding for the new Wyndham refuge.
I commend the Andrews Labor government’s ongoing commitment to the issue of family violence and thank Safe Futures Foundation for their continued work in providing vital refuge and services for victim survivors of family violence.