Family Violence Prevention

Minister’s Statement

Ms MIKAKOS (Minister for Families and Children) (09:59:17) — I rise to update the house on how the Andrews Labor government is testing new and innovative approaches to end family violence and hold perpetrators to account. I recently announced $4.8 million to trial and evaluate seven new perpetrator intervention programs which target diverse groups. This is an investment by the Andrews Labor government in family violence prevention to make sure that perpetrators are accountable. These trials acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to combating family violence, while also encouraging community-based initiatives and recognising the importance of keeping all perpetrators accountable.

The trials run until July 2019, and just some of the groups funded include Bethany Community Support in the Greater Geelong, Queenscliff region and Surf Coast regions to work with men who have cognitive impairments; Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative and the Centre for Non-Violence in Bendigo, delivering bush-setting interventions including health and storytelling with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal fathers; inTouch, Multicultural Centre against Family Violence in Greater Dandenong to deliver in-language, culturally sensitive interventions for those from culturally diverse backgrounds; and Baptcare and Berry Street in Ballarat and Melbourne to work with female perpetrators, including Aboriginal women.

The new programs respond to recommendation 87 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which urged further interventions for perpetrators beyond the current men’s behaviour change programs. This investment comes on top of $7.4 million to trial perpetrator case management, as well as a further $9.1 million to create an extra 4000 community-based men’s behaviour change places in 2018–19. The case management trial will provide access for up to 2000 places across Victoria and includes dedicated funding for Aboriginal and LGBTI service providers. Under the new and enhanced men’s behaviour change program it has been extended from 12 to 20 weeks and includes additional support for victim-survivors and their families.

This is part of the Andrews Labor government’s unprecedented $2.6 billion investment since 2017 to help end family violence and includes a record $60.1 million over four years for the changing perpetrator behaviour program. Our government will never stop our work to end our nation’s number one law and order issue — family violence — putting the interests of women and children first, while making perpetrators accountable for their actions.