A pilot program being run in Wyndham and Melton will help support families recovering from domestic violence.
Keeping Safe Together has been funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and will help each family member individually, including the perpetrator of violence.
Women’s Health West chief executive Dr Robyn Gregory said the year-long pilot program would provide “intensive therapeutic support” including one-on-one and family counselling, education on parenting and the impact of violence, hands-on practical support and referral to other services.
Women’s Health West strategy, advocacy and community engagement director Elly Taylor said the program started taking referrals in November and was now working with several families.
She said Wyndham and Melton were selected for the pilot because they had some of the highest rates of family violence in the western Melbourne region.
Between October last year and September this year, there were 2680 family violence incidents recorded by police in Wyndham, and 2055 recorded in Melton.
Within the previous 12 months, these figures stood at 3012 incidents for Wyndham and 2055 for Melton.
Ms Taylor said Keeping Safe Together had already received a high number of inquiries and referrals, but there was capacity for more.
“We recommend that people contact us quickly, as the program is sparking a lot of interest,” she said.
Women’s Health West and LifeWorks Relationship Counselling and Education Services are co-leading the project in partnership with other organisations including the Bouverie Centre, cohealth, Good Shepherd, CatholicCare and MacKillop Family Services.
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