Safe Steps welcomes the Victorian Government’s continued investment in reforming the family violence system.
In particular, we welcome the investment of $69 million to provide two additional refuges, the upgrade of another three, and an additional six Crisis Accommodation Properties.
“Safe Steps accommodates an average of 97 women and children a night in emergency accommodation, and we have been advocating strongly for an increase in refuge places to reduce the reliance on motels,” said Rita Butera, CEO of Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre.
“This investment is wonderful however, it does fall short of meeting the demand we know exists for refuges to keep women and children protected, safe and supported when they are experiencing family violence crisis and where the risk of lethality is so high,” she said.
Safe Steps is also pleased to see the continuation of the surge funding received through COVID and additional demand funding, in recognition of the ongoing recovery needs of victim survivors post the pandemic.
“We can see in our numbers that the surge in demand is not getting any smaller with the easing of restrictions. It is good to see this is reflected in the budget,” said Ms Butera.
Funding will also be provided to Safe Steps to maintain the Pets in Crisis program, which offers refuge and protection for pets and livestock animals of victim-survivors so that they can be safely housed with their families or temporarily rehomed while victim-survivors escape.
“In all there are some great and important investments in the family violence service system to support organisations to better meet the needs of victim-survivors. While this is good, we hope to see an increased investment in refuge and crisis accommodation, and we will continue to work with the Victorian Government to realise this,” concluded Ms Butera.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or afraid of family and domestic violence, please call Safe Steps for support on 1800 015 188 (24 hours/7 days a week) or visit www.safesteps.org.au.
0418 457 390