Grampians Community Health family violence team urges people to reach out

GRAMPIANS Community Health has assured people experiencing family violence help is available despite the region’s new safety hub being years away.

A Royal Commission into family violence last year recommended a hub for western Victoria.

Hubs across the state will help better co-ordinate and consolidate family violence services.

However Grampians Community Health homelessness and family violence program co-ordinator Emily Clark said the western Victorian hub might not be up and running until 2019. 

She said it was important people who needed help did not wait.

“We have 14 experienced on-ground staff, and our team has worked in the family violence space in the Grampians and Wimmera regions for decades,” she said.

The team covers from Ararat to the South Australian border.

“Staff offer counselling as well as practical support, from helping a victim leave a violent situation, to finding them new accommodation and linking them into other support services, such as mental health support,” Miss Clark said.

“We also support victims through court hearings and help empower them to move forward with their life through counselling.

“People don’t have to leave to access our support as we can safety plan and help them feel safer in their own home.”

Miss Clark said the team worked with up to 500 people annually.

“They all have varying degrees of support needs, but our staff work closely with each one to assess their requirements and tailor services to them,” she said.

“We ensure they have the right level of support and can put them in touch with other service providers.

“We also engage male perpetrators through our Men’s Behaviour Change Program, which aims to reduce repeat offending and educate men about their behaviour and how it impacts their partners.

“This service alone has helped educate 1300 men since it started in 2006.”

Miss Clark said people could call the team on 5358 7400.