Funding boost for domestic violence prevention: ‘No one wants violence against women to happen in the first place’

In 2016, Women's Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West spread messages linking respect and violence against women and girls through an eye-catching coffee cup campaign based in Warrnambool.
In 2016, Women's Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West spread messages linking respect and violence against women and girls through an eye-catching coffee cup campaign based in Warrnambool.

The prevention of family violence will be the focus of a $100,000 funding boost set to benefit the south-west community.

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West, which works in domestic violence prevention, received the money from the state government as part of $3.8 million in funding.

The organisation’s chief executive officer (CEO) Emily Lee-Ack said she was “thrilled” to receive the funding which would allow crucial prevention work to continue.

“The community is quite strong on this – people would just prefer family violence didn’t happen in the first place,” Ms Lee-Ack said.

“The way to do that, and what evidence shows, is taking a proactive approach to unpacking attitudes and behaviors that cause violence against women to be more common or more acceptable in the community is the way that we stop this from happening in the future.

“As important as it is that people who experience violence have access to support, we need to address the cause of that violence too.”

Ms Lee-Ack said the organisation was reaching into schools, sporting clubs, hospitals and workplaces to give people the opportunity to learn more about family violence, including what they can do as organisations and individuals to prevent it.

The funding is based on a recommendation that came out of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which delivered its report in March 2016.

Prevention of Family Violence Minister Natalie Hutchins announced the funding for the women’s health sector, which included $1.48 million dedicated to preventing violence against women with disabilities.

She said the investment was about making all Victorians feel make and live free from family violence.

“This funding will support our local communities and their workforces to better understand what drives violence against women, and ultimately prevent it from occurring in the first place,” Ms Hutchins said.

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