Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) welcomes today’s announcement from Ministers Williams and Wynne of a $40.2 million emergency funding package for crisis accommodation and support for family violence services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the coming months of increased isolation and economic hardship, and as our health and human service systems respond to the unfolding public health crisis, we anticipate there will be significant increased risk for victim survivors of family violence and unique challenges to the specialist family violence services providing crisis support during this time. Keeping adults and children safe from the harm of family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic requires the coordinated effort of many different agencies.
“This funding is an important recognition of the additional family violence risks that emerge during a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, that will result in increased requests for support from specialist family violence services,” said DV Vic Acting CEO Alison Macdonald.
“The funding sends a message to survivors of family violence in the Victorian community that the specialist family violence sector and the Victorian Government are working together to ensure that the support you need is there for you when you need it, despite the challenges the pandemic has created.”
In particular, DV Vic welcomes flexible support funding that can be used to secure accommodation and housing for survivors of family violence during the pandemic that will expand options to ensure survivors of family violence, including children, can stay safely at home or access crisis accommodation.
Additional funding to help services meet the anticipated increase in demand during the pandemic and to adapt to remote working requirements is very welcomed by the sector.
“The main thing that DV Vic members tell us is that they want to bring on more staff to assist with responding to calls for assistance, this funding will enable that. Specialist family violence services will be able to respond to more people, more quickly, and with more flexibility as a result of the funding. That is exactly what is needed to respond to family violence during these pandemic conditions.’
As the peak body for specialist family violence services in Victoria, the safety and wellbeing of victim survivors is foremost in DV Vic’s efforts and advocacy at this time of unprecedented need.