Extra cash for violence support services

SUPPORT services for victims of family violence and sexual assault across western Victoria will share $670,000 in additional state government funding during the next four years.

Warrnambool-based South West Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) and the Geelong-based Barwon CASA have been allocated the money to help women and children.

The money has been designated to help provide 24-hour crisis support and advocacy following a sexual assault and to increase access to therapy.

Women’s Affairs Minister Mary Wooldridge and South West Coast MP Denis Napthine said more than $90 million had been invested by the government this year in addressing the issue.

“Violence against women and children is unacceptable and we need to ensure that victims can access services to increase their safety and support them in their recovery,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“We want to prevent violence from happening in the first instance, but when it does occur we need to have the right support in place for the women and children who experience it.”

The main south-west CASA office is based in Warrnambool, with outreach services to Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne and Southern Grampians shires. It is funded by the government and is a department of South West Healthcare.

Demand for the services has grown 88 per cent in the past four years, with 549 cases involving 341 clients seeking help from the centre last financial year.

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