Keeping women and children safe


Melbourne: The Andrews Labor Government is helping keep women and children safe from family violence in their own homes through the state-wide expansion of the Personal Safety Initiative.

Personal safety responses and technology – CCTV, personal alarms, locks and security doors – will be funded and accessed through a $17 million boost to the Flexible Support Packages program, an official press release said recently .

The expansion of the Personal Safety Initiative follows a trial in inner and outer eastern Melbourne, as well as Gippsland, exploring the uses of technology and security responses.

The pilot is due to be completed by the middle of the year, however early findings have helped the Government understand how personal safety responses and technology can be used to keep victims of family violence safe.

The trial – due to be completed by the middle of the year – is already helping at-risk women.

For example, a woman who had been forced to move twice in the last three years because the perpetrator was constantly breaching an intervention order had CCTV cameras, security lighting and a security door installed at her home, the release said.

This allowed her to stay in her community, where she had established support networks, and has seen no further breaches of the intervention order.

This expansion is being supported by the Federal Government, who are contributing $2.6 million for 17 Personal Safety Coordinators to ensure personal safety technology is used consistently and effectively as part of a broader plan for the safety and wellbeing of women and children.

The Government is implementing all 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

As part of its 10-year plan to end family violence, the Government released Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change last year.

The plan includes investing in social housing, recruiting specialist family violence workers to support women and children to access services they need to get back on their feet, as well as the establishment of a network of Support and Safety Hubs across Victoria.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said, “The trial to keep women safe in their homes is working, so we’re expanding it. This vital initiative will save lives across Victoria and is part of Labor’s 10-year plan to end family violence.” (TIW)