Tackling violence

GCASA chief executive Fiona Boyle welcomed the news the Latrobe Valley would be one of five trial sites for a domestic and family violence prevention toolkit. photograph heidi kraak

GCASA chief executive Fiona Boyle welcomed the news the Latrobe Valley would be one of five trial sites for a domestic and family violence prevention toolkit. photograph heidi kraak

Local service providers have welcomed the federal government's selection of the Latrobe Valley as one of five trial sites for a domestic and family violence prevention toolkit.

Latrobe City council will receive tools and resources to lead violence prevention activities over the 12-month trial.

Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault chief executive Fiona Boyle said the toolkit was a "fabulous idea".

"From our perspective in the Latrobe Valley, obviously we have high rates of sexual assault, high rates of family violence and very complex social issues, so I think it is a really good decision for the Latrobe Valley to be a pilot site," she said.

"Certainly in the region there [are] lots of organisations that have been working towards prevention of violence against women ... and Latrobe City Council as well. So I think that they are well-placed for this toolkit.

"I think the infrastructure is there for the toolkit to be utilised as best as it can, and, certainly from our perspective at GCASA with a lot of awareness raising around sexual violence ... we are seeing increasing numbers coming through our service which is resulting in higher wait times and those kinds of things, so anything we can invest in and contribute to prevention is an absolute essential."

Ms Boyle said awareness was a key element in preventing domestic and family violence.

"Certainly, in the prevention space, what we know assists with prevention is raising awareness, is understanding how anyone in the community can contribute or be a bystander in those situations," she said.

"So being able to provide training and education around 'how do I actually intervene when I see something? Or should I? Is it safe?' and what are the best ways to go about it, those sorts of practical tools are very, really essential."

Funding for the toolkit will be provided across five sites from 2017-18 to 2018-19 and will be supported by an additional $350,000 to Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety to evaluate the outcomes.

For further information on the national plan, visit dss.gov.au/women/programs-services/reducing-violence/the-national-plan-to-reduce-violence-against-women-and-their-children-2010-2022.  

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