$775,000 towards keeping women and children safe
0 comment

$775,000 towards keeping women and children safe

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, met with Gippsland Lakes Community Health CEO, Sue Medson, to discuss the positive benefit the establishment of a Risk Assessment and Management Panel will have for vulnerable members of our community at risk of family violence.

The State Government is investing $775,000 to expand a highly effective program that will help to protect women and children at the highest risk from family violence in East Gippsland and surrounds.

Member for East Gippsland, Tim Bull, said the funding would support the establishment of a Risk Assessment and Management Panel (RAMP) and related case management support that would cover the local government areas of East Gippsland and Wellington.

“This is a watershed moment in improving our response to family violence,” Mr Bull said.

“This funding will enable immediate practical assistance and case management support for women and children including those at imminent risk of serious injury or death as a result of complex family violence.”

“It means women and children at high risk of violence can be supported and protected in a coordinated way under a response that brings together Victoria Police, child protection, housing, courts, corrections, health, community and family violence services to plan for the safety of the woman and her children and hold the perpetrator to account.”

Gippsland Lakes Community Health will lead the establishment of the RAMP as part of the Coalition Government’s extension of the proven Strengthening Risk Management initiative.

“These highly effective panels allow agencies to share information; ensuring that women and children at the highest risk of serious injury or death as a result of family violence are supported and protected in a coordinated way.”

“By working hand in hand with police and the courts, the panel will be empowered to take decisive action by holding perpetrators accountable for their violent behaviour.”

Gippsland Lakes Community Health CEO, Sue Medson, said that this is a great opportunity to work collaboratively with other organisations.  

“The RAMP will enhance the service system as part of the recently announced ‘Services Connect Partnership’ for East Gippsland and Wellington, coordinating services for vulnerable people within our community,” she said.

Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said the establishment of this RAMP is part of a $17.3 million funding package to expand the highly effective program state wide. The expansion is underpinned by the success of two pilot RAMP projects that have been running in the cities of Hume and Greater Geelong.

“We can – and are – making a difference in ensuring that family violence is not accepted in Victoria and women and children receive effective support,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Further, funding of $434,000 will also be provided to the Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault in advance of the opening of the new $4.8 million Morwell multidisciplinary centre that will become operational by mid-2015. This centre co-locates police, child protection practitioners and sexual assault counsellors to support and deliver better outcomes for victims of sexual assault.

Family violence is a complex issue and there are no quick fixes. It needs a whole-of-government strategy that tackles this insidious crime at all levels. The Napthine Government has recently announced a comprehensive $150 million action package that will reduce the incidence of family violence across Victoria. Highlights include:
•    $41 million to deliver Victoria's largest ever prevention campaign in partnership with Our Watch, including a social marketing and behaviour change campaign and local community action;
•    Expanded crisis accommodation support for women and children;
•    A new Multi-Disciplinary Centre for women and children who experience sexual assault, complete with police, sexual assault and family violence experts and child protection staff;
•    Outreach teachers to work with children fleeing family violence;
•    A trial of GPS monitoring of high risk perpetrators;
•    Additional legal and advocacy support for women;
•    Behaviour change programs for men in prison;
•    Specialist staff in courts to assist victims and perpetrators of violence through the court processes; and
•    Improved and expanded post-crisis support for women and children.