Family violence is now widely recognised to be a serious and widespread problem with enormous individual and community impacts and social costs. While this significant social problem is ultimately preventable, we first need to understand family violence.
Grampians Community Health is pleased to partner with Stawell Church of Christ to present and discuss this significant community issue of family violence. The focus of this presentation is on developing a shared understanding of family violence – the prevalence and impacts, the causes and drivers and how our community is responding through services and community-wide initiatives.
Family violence is as pervasive in the Grampians Region as it is across Victoria – in fact statistics show the overall rate is higher. Over 75,000 family violence incidents were reported by Police across Victoria in 2015. More than 3,700 of these were in the Grampians region – five per cent of the state’s total while the Grampians region accounts for approximately four per cent of the Victorian population.
In the six months from July to December 2017, Grampians Community Health responded to 502 family violence incidents. In general, there has been an increase in the number of recorded family incidents in recent years with a 45 per cent increase across Victoria since 2012. This shows that the messages about family violence are getting through and are being taken more seriously across the community with more women and more community bystanders reporting incidents to Police. It’s worth noting that research suggests the true incidence of family violence is significantly higher than the figures reported to police, with most incidents going unreported.
Women living in rural and regional areas experience an increased risk of family violence and regularly experience barriers that make it more difficult to report violence or seek support. They often face barriers such as geographical isolation and limited availability of services that can be compounded by lack of access to public transport.
Community attitudes that accept unequal power relationships can normalise abusive behaviour and a lack of anonymity and fear of stigma, shame and community gossip in small communities represent barriers many women face is seeking support. In addition, there may be a fear for her and her children’s safety while continuing to live in small community. The need to move away and uproot children and leave behind supportive friends and work, often with limited financial resources can make it feel that she has little control over her situation.
Grampians Community Health provides a range of support services for people affected by family violence including practical support, case management and counselling. These services are available alongside a host of other health and wellbeing services to provide holistic and comprehensive support. Working collaboratively with a range of other agencies across the region is essential in ensuring everyone understands what is available and how to access support.
Family violence is preventable and it’s through a shared understanding and a commitment to all work together that we can change the story for our community – and the momentum for change has never been stronger.
For more information about ours services and support to you please visit our Family Violence page.
You can contact Grampians Community Health on 5358 7400. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, you should always call 000 for urgent assistance.
Read about a family violence information night will be held later this month April 2018 at Stawell Church of Christ’s.
Saturday April 21st 2018 – 7.30 – 9.30pm
Stawell Church of Christ, 18 Sloane Street, Stawell.
Supper to follow discussion.
No cost to attend
International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
Grampians Community Health is calling on all people and organisations in the community to join with them in recognising the role of female family violence workers on the 29th of November, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day.
Grampians Community Health CEO, Mr Greg Little, said that too frequently the women who worked in supporting victims of family violence are either not recognised for the important function they provide, or vilified by perpetrators or uninformed people as the bad guys.
“The Homelessness and Family Violence team at Grampians Community Health is an incredibly dedicated and proud group who are there for the people in our community who are impacted by family violence. This however also creates a heavy burden on them as they are also part of the community” said Mr Little.
“The women in our team still need to be part of society, they need to relax, spend time with their families, shop, go out like everyone else, but this can sometimes be daunting when they know the person walking towards them or serving them in a shop may also be a perpetrator of family violence” Mr Little added.
International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, held annually on November 29th is an international campaign launched in 2004 for the recognition and protection of women human rights defenders who are advocating for the realisation of all human rights for all people. Because of who they are and the nature of their work, women human rights defenders face significant violations and abuses.
In Victoria, family violence is well recognised for the impact it has on families in our community, and 75% of family violence is perpetrated by men towards women. Grampians Community Health believes that November 29th, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, is a worthy day for recognition in Victoria, and have today released a YouTube clip highlighting the challenges faced by family violence workers [https://youtu.be/5AqqOMTHlvM]
Mr Little said “Attracting and retaining staff to work in the field of family violence in rural Victoria is difficult when they don’t always feel valued in the community.”
“Grampians Community Health is only one organisation, hopefully other domestic violence services, community organisations, government and the communities we serve will join us on the 29th of November in the years to come in celebrating the role family violence workers provide” said Mr Little.
If you would like more information about Family Violence Support please call us on 03 5358 7400
Grampians Community Health is well established in delivering specialist family violence services to the Grampians and Wimmera
Grampians Community Health (GCH) has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Families and Children the Hon. Jenny Mikakos that will enable GCH to continue to deliver Men’s behavioural change programs in the Wimmera and Grampians.
In announcing the funding Minister Mikakos said “We know the devastating impact that men who commit family violence has on their own families, as well as the wider community – this is about stamping out this behaviour.”
Grampians Community Health has been delivering the Men’s behaviour change program since 2006 and has supported many men to address their behaviours towards partners, children and family members.
Mr Greg Little, Chief Executive Officer of Grampians Community Health said that the funding announced by the Victorian Government was welcomed by Grampians Community Health who will continue running the Men’s behaviour change group programs in Horsham and Stawell until at least June 2019.
“Over the past year, Grampians Community Health assessed around 130 men who completed the program, supporting them to address their behaviours towards partners, children and family members. This number has grown over time with a greater awareness by the courts of our men’s behaviour change program” Mr. Little said.
Mr. Little said that the strength of the Men’s behaviour change program was its capacity to enable men to understand that they are accountable for the long term effects and repercussions of their behaviour on their families, and that their behaviour is related to power and control.
The funding supports a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Family Violence that more men’s behavioural change programs be made available to meet the demands of the community and of court orders. The Andrew’s Labor Government is working to end family violence through its $1.9 billion package of measures in the Victorian Budget 2017/18. This record investment includes $49.4 million over four years for the Changing Perpetrator Behaviour initiative.
Funding will also go to establishing 17 support and safety hubs across the state, delivering after-hours crisis support, counselling and therapy for victims of family violence, and developing a 10-year plan.
Grampians Community Health is well established in delivering specialist family violence services to the Grampians and Wimmera. The Homelessness and Family violence team has for many years supported women and children who are affected by family violence and address their individual support needs.
Family violence support workers offer court support, safety planning and case management to ensure women and their children are supported. Grampians Community Health has a specialist family violence counsellor who is available for women to address the trauma experienced by family violence.
Mr. Little said the implementation of the safety hubs is being piloted in other areas and how the hubs will look in the Wimmera is unsure at this stage. Our communities can be assured however that when they need support the specialist family violence services provided by Grampians Community Health will provide services that aim for safety and social inclusion for all people.
People can access the Homelessness and Family violence programs at Grampians Community Health by calling 03 5358 7400 or calling into the GCH building at 24 David Street Horsham or the Stawell Health and Community Centre.
Read more here: Funding support for Grampians Community Health men’s behaviour change program– The Wimmera Mail Times 24th August