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Support victims to safely remain in, or return to, their homes and communities

Recommendation 013 - Implemented

The Victorian Government give priority to supporting victims in safely remaining in, or returning to, their own homes and communities through the expansion of Safe at Home–type programs across Victoria. These programs should incorporate rental and mortgage subsidies and any benefits offered by advances in safety devices, with suitable case management as well as monitoring of perpetrators by police and the justice system.

What we are doing

Funding has been expanded for the support required to keep victim survivors safe in their homes, which includes specialist family violence case management and family violence Flexible Support Packages.

This work includes expanding access to technology and security responses to improve personal safety as part of a statewide rollout of the Personal Safety Initiative. As part of this expansion, minimum standards have been developed for technology and security responses.

Family Safety Victoria is working with Victoria Police and key agencies to ensure that risk assessment and management principles guide the support being provided and to improve the monitoring of perpetrators.

Where we are up to

Following a successful pilot that tested the efficacy of technological responses in increasing the safety of victim survivors, the statewide expansion of the Personal Safety Initiative (PSI) was announced and is now underway. This initiative supports victim survivors to access appropriate and effective technology and security responses that allow them to remain safely in their own homes and communities, as part of a case management response that addresses safety and security goals and sustainably assists in managing family violence related risk.

Funding has been allocated to Domestic Violence Victoria and family violence agencies located in each of the 17 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Areas to support both statewide and local engagement and coordination of PSI responses, strengthen relationships with security providers, support case managers to assess the suitability of personal safety responses for victim survivors, and ensure these responses are used consistently and appropriately as part of a broader plan for the safety and wellbeing of victim survivors.

To support the statewide expansion of the PSI, minimum technology standards and minimum requirements for security providers have been developed to ensure that victim survivors across the state are accessing appropriate, effective and safe technology and security responses. Statewide operational guidelines have also been developed, in consultation with sector representatives and other key stakeholders, including Victoria Police. These guidelines will further strengthen the consistency of responses delivered across Victoria.

In September 2016 significant funding boosts were allocated for family violence case management and family violence flexible support packages. The 2017/18 State Budget provided additional and ongoing funding to case management services and the 2018/19 State Budget has provided an additional two years of funding for family violence flexible support packages. These funding boosts have strengthened the capacity of specialist family violence services to support victim survivors to safely remain in their homes and communities.

Timeframe

Implemented

Who is leading the change

Family Safety Victoria