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Meli partners with McAuley to deliver Safe at Home program in the Geelong region

Women and children experiencing family violence will be supported to stay safely in their own homes as part of a new program announced by the Victorian Government.

Led by McAuley Community Services for Women, Meli is proud to partner with McAuley to deliver the Safe at Home program in the Geelong region.

The government is providing more than $6 million for three years to conduct the pilot program.

Minister for Housing Harriet Shing and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Vicki Ward visited the team at McAuley, with Ms Shing saying that “we’re continuing our work to provide housing, care and services to people most in need, in particular survivors of family violence.”

Ms Ward added that “we are proud to be involved in this project, which will provide women and their children with the support they need and enable them to stay safely in their home and community.”

Under the Safe at Home model, rather than relocating to a safe location while the perpetrator remains in the family home, victim survivors remain where they live with tailored support and personal safety enhancements while the perpetrator moves elsewhere.

In moving out of the home, the adult using violence is supported to change their behaviour and stop their use of violence. The approach moves away from victim survivors experiencing the disadvantages of leaving – including the loss of communities, schools and workplaces – with a resultant reduction in homelessness across Victoria.

The state government are doing all they can to ensure survivors of family violence have access to safe and secure housing. There is significant demand for housing among women and children because of family violence – in 2022-23, 41,262 Victorians who accessed homelessness assistance cited family violence as a reason.

They are increasing long-term housing options, with social housing allocations to victim-survivors growing 39 per cent from 2021-22 to 2022-23.

As part of the nation-leading $5.3 billion Big Housing Build, up to 1,000 dedicated homes for family violence survivors are being delivered. Funding has been provided towards 22 projects that will result in 403 new homes specifically for women and their families on the Victorian Housing Register.

In the Victorian Budget 2024-25, they have invested significantly, including nearly $197 million over four years, to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, with a particular focus on survivors of family violence. And invested a further $72.1 million over two years to provide immediate support and emergency accommodation for survivors of family violence.

 

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