Victorian ECEC services urged to play their part in family violence awareness this summer.

Victorian ECEC services urged to play their part in family violence awareness this summer.

by Freya Lucas

December 21, 2018

The Victorian Government have given renewed attention to keeping children safe over the holiday period, as demand for support from family violence services peaks, with Victorian Police expected to respond to a surge in family violence incidents.

 

Over the holiday period there is likely to be an additional 44 cases of family violence reported to Victoria Police every day, with 14,000 incidents of family violence expected over that period, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Gabrielle Williams said.

 

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are often a first “port of call” for families experiencing domestic violence looking to identify community supports. ECEC services may also be the one of the few points of community engagement for families experiencing violence, making the statistics and campaign of interest to the sector.

 

Charity organisation KidsFirst Australia said that family violence across Australia increases by anywhere between 25 and 40 per cent from winter to summer. In Victoria alone, KidsFirst Australia said, this equates to an additional 50 reports of family violence incidents per day over December and January.

 

Describing gender inequality and disrespect as the key drivers of family violence, Respect Victoria have relaunched the Respect Women: Call it Out campaign, to coincide with the rise in family violence incidents across the holiday period.

 

The campaign will run across television, radio and print throughout the holiday period, encouraging people to call out sexist and disrespectful behaviour when they see it at Christmas and social gatherings.

 

Behaviour change campaigns are already making an impact, the Victorian Government said, with the campaign reaching 5.2 million Victorians, with 85 per cent of those who have seen the campaign able to identify the drivers of family violence.

 

So far more than 25,000 people have been referred to The Orange Door’s first five sites in Frankston, Geelong, Heidelberg, Mildura and inner Gippsland.

 

The Orange Door is a free service, and an easy way for women, children and young people experiencing family violence or families who need assistance with the care and wellbeing of children, to get help and support.

 

The next tranche of The Orange Door will roll out in 2019 as part of the Victorian Government’s $448.1 million investment to establish family violence reform across the state.

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