Family violence: Vic Govt funds culture specific programs

$1.61 million of Victorian Government funding will go towards 23 organisations providing culturally specific programs for family violence prevention. $1.61 million of Victorian Government funding will go towards 23 organisations providing culturally specific family violence initiatives.

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The Victorian State Government has announced it will deliver an additional $1.61 million to 23 multicultural and faith organisations delivering community-based family violence projects, including Cultura, the Victorian Sikh Gurudwaras Council, and the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights.

In 2021, 33 organisations received grants towards culturally specific preventative initiatives under the Government’s Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Family Violence Grants Program.

The latest funding announcement will support previous grant recipients to deliver projects addressing family violence through a variety of mediums, including workshops, multilingual resources, and support services.

Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Ros Spence stresses the importance of community-led initiatives.

“When it comes to preventing family violence in our multicultural communities, we know community organisations and trusted multicultural and multifaith leaders know best how to lead this work,” she said.

“This additional funding will help strengthen the work of community, faith and cultural organisations to prevent family violence and violence against women before it starts.”

The funding will support Dandenong and Springvale based South East Community Links, who formed community advisory groups, delivered a five week Indian-community training program, and launched the ‘Change the Story’ video campaign, along with resources in Hindi, Tamil and Punjabi.

Funding recipients also include the Victorian Sikh Gurudwaras Council, who run regular family respect and gender equality workshops facilitated in Punjabi and English in venues across Melbourne, and the Board of Imams Victoria Inc, who will deliver a positive parenting program and a program engaging with young men based on the Victorian Government’s 2017 Principles for Perpetrator Intervention.

The 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence found Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities were disproportionately affected by family violence and faced greater barriers to accessing support. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Colin Brooks hopes the latest funding can help address this gap.

“We know Victoria’s multicultural communities and multifaith leaders understand their communities better than anyone and will be central to improving respectful and healthy relationships between men and women,” he said.

Previous recipients of the grant include AustralAsian Centre for Human Rights and Health (ACHRH), whose community participatory theatre group Sneh Theatre act out scenarios exploring arranged marriage, dowry abuse and family violence to generate conversations. IndianCare also previously received funding for ‘Project Ujala’, an early-response project raising awareness about family violence during the pandemic, delivered through online information sessions and social media messaging.

The announcement follows a $1.2 million increase in funding towards the Family Violence Research Program earlier in July, which includes research into multicultural community services for family violence prevention.

If you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 787 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

READ ALSO: A clinical psychiatrist reveals how Indian women in Australia experience family violence – and how to combat it

Lakshmi Ganapathy
Lakshmi Ganapathy
Lakshmi Ganapathy is an emerging journalist and theatre-maker based in Melbourne.

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