Family violence services demand immediate funding to protect women and children

22 July 2014

Latest figures reveal that family violence reports to Women’s Health West have increased by 54 per cent in the last year, while funds have increased only 2 per cent.

‘This is the most severe spike in demand we have seen in the twenty years we have provided family violence services in the western region,’ said Women’s Health West CEO, Dr Robyn Gregory.

‘Family violence services desperately need additional funds to keep women and children safe.

‘The sector welcomed the May announcement of $30 million in new funding to protect women and children experiencing family violence. This was to be rolled out in June.

‘Despite 29 family violence deaths in Victoria last year, including the devastating murder of Fiona Warzywoda in Sunshine in April, not one agency has received the promised funds.

‘The much smaller but more visible problem of public transport crime was allocated $300 million in new money and we have already seen a marked increase in the presence of Protective Services Officers on trains.

‘Women’s Health West urgently calls on the government to follow through and deliver the committed funds.

Welcome changes to police practices in 2008 require Victoria Police members attending family violence incidents to link every family to a women’s service or a men’s service.

As police respond to more family violence incidents, services like Women’s Health West experience a corresponding increase in demand.

‘In the last four years alone we have dealt with a 286 per cent increase in demand with only 25 per cent more funding. This cannot continue. It is time to move family violence up the budget priority list and release the pledged funds.’

MEDIA: For more information contact Nicola Harte, Communications Manager on 9689 9588 or email nicolah@whwest.org.au