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A new manual is launched in Melbourne to support Victoria’s Indian community leaders assisting family violence victims
Jagriti is a community forum established by leaders in Melbourne’s Indian community who were concerned about the levels of family violence experienced by Indian families living in the local area.
The organisation recently partnered with the Western Integrated Family Violence Committee to produce Happy FAMILIES, Happy COMMUNITIES, a community education resource to assist Indian leaders in directing families toward specialist help services.
Chair of Jagriti and Member of Parliament for Footscray, Marsha Thomson, recently helped launch the new Happy FAMILIES, Happy COMMUNITIES manual.
Ms Thomson said the manual was created in response to a lack of understanding of the existing support available to victims of family violence particularly amongst the Indian community.
“Happy FAMILIES, Happy COMMUNITIES is specifically designed for the Indian community to assist those offering assistance to victims of family violence,” Ms Thomson said.
Western Family Violence Regional Integration Coordinator (WIFVC), Maureen Smith, said the manual is specifically targeted at the Indian community and is being trialed in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
“Feedback from the trial will be fed into the final template of the manual which we hope will be made available across Victoria,” Ms Smith said.
Happy FAMILIES, Happy COMMUNITIES was launched at the end of August by Ms Thomson MP and the Consul General of India in Melbourne Manika Jain.
Ms Jain said the guide will fill a knowledge gap for the Indian community and hopefully increase domestic violence victims’ access to services.
Funding for the manual came from grants received from the RE Ross Trust and Maribyrnong, Wyndham, Melton, and Brimbank Councils.
Members of Jagriti include academics, police, lawyers, women’s groups, councillors, family violence professionals, and community leaders to assist the Indian community in having a wide reach and tackling issues of family violence.
Secretary of Jagriti, Jasvinder Sidhu said it is hoped the new resource will be another tool for those working with vulnerable families towards eliminating violence.
“The manual will provide Indian community leaders and organisations with up-to-date information on where to go for assistance, what kind of assistance is provided and whether it is provided to residents with non-permanency or residents and Australian citizens only.
This manual will be a great resource for victims of family violence to know where and how to get help,” Mr Sidhu said.