Women and children who have survived family violence will be able to move into an extra 110 homes, as part of a $133.2 million Victorian government package.
All Victorian refuges will be redeveloped and two new Aboriginal refuges will be built with $83.2 million, under the family violence package announced on Sunday.
The package includes $48 million for the additional public housing properties, $2 million to privately lease homes to ensure women and children in need have a place to go, and $100,000 to give Muslim women escaping family violence culturally specific support.
Specialist family violence advisers will also work with major mental health and alcohol and other drug services to try to prevent incidents of family violence, and intervene early.
Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley told the media on Sunday about 20 per cent of people presenting in the family violence specialist system had come through a mental health or alcohol or other drug service
Mr Foley said the funding would ensure that women who were forced to leave their home were not faced with the dilemma of where to go in the short to long-term.
“We are providing landmark investments in housing and crisis accommodation – enabling a safe place while these women and children access other support services and begin recovering and rebuilding their lives,” he said.
“So making sure that all of our diverse Victorian community have a pathway towards a response that keeps them safe, secure, well. That’s really what this package is about.”
Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack said the Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted how few options women had when they left violent relationships.
“This is about addressing the chronic and long-term poverty and homelessness that so many women and children have experienced as a result of family violence,” she said on Sunday.
“The Royal Commission highlighted how critical it was that these critical refuges be redeveloped and we see the government fulfilling this commitment.”
Victims of family violence in the LGBTI community will also be given support with $400,000 for case management to the Victorian AIDS Council and Drummond St Services.
National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.