What we are asking

Urgent funding for crisis accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula:

  • to keep women and children safe when escaping family violence and help them develop safety plans
  • to plug a critical gap until longer-term housing solutions can be found.

Better local support services, including:

  • increased funding for localised family violence support services to meet unmet local demand
  • services located where the need is greatest – the Southern Peninsula and Westernport
  • an expanded focus to allow support at the ‘recovery’ stage for victim-survivors
  • funding to support primary prevention measures to create long term gender equality change.

What makes this unique

There is no crisis accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula.

Reported family violence on the Mornington Peninsula increased almost 17% in 2019-2020 (1892 to 2211 incidents). Research shows this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Family violence incidents have increased in severity and number during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have a 9.3% higher incidence of family violence than the Melbourne metropolitan average. This high demand for services means local families are missing out on crucial support.

Our inadequate public transport system makes accessing support services and crisis accommodation off the Peninsula unviable and forces women to stay in abusive situations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a significant increase in the severity of family violence and the number of reported incidents:

  • Between March and December 2020, family violence reports were up 23% on the previous year

Violence against women and their children is recognised as a serious and widespread problem, with enormous individual and community impacts and social costs.

Programs such as the Big Housing Build will provide medium to longer-term solutions – but we urgently need a short-term solution.

A family violence refuge presents the perfect opportunity to address the critical gap in the provision of crisis housing and provide safe and secure accommodation.

The unmet demand for crisis accommodation on the Peninsula is clear: temporary crisis housing at The Ranch Motel has seen all 13 rooms full almost every day since it opened more than a year ago.

Gender inequality is one of the key drivers of violence against women and their children. Our Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2030 considers the key drivers of violence against women and identifies a range of actions to prevent violence. These actions are currently being delivered across the Peninsula.

This request aligns with the Commonwealth Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and its Fourth Action Plan: Moving Ahead 2019-2022:

  • $60.4 million is provided for new or expanded emergency accommodation facilities for women and children escaping domestic and family violence.

It also aligns with the Victorian Government’s Family Violence Reform – Rolling Action Plan 2020-2023:

  • A focus on crisis accommodation and the creation of 19 new ‘core and cluster’ family violence refuge

Our Council and Wellbeing Plan 2021 – 2025, which reflects the goals and aspirations of our Community Vision, identifies community safety as a key issue.

  • Strategic Objective 3.1 calls for a healthy and self-determined community where everyone feels valued, supported and safe.

    Action 3.1.1 is to deliver our Gender Equality Strategy in partnership with community organisations
  • Strategic Objective 3.3 calls for a community in which people from all generations, backgrounds and abilities can access local services.

    Action 3.3.6 is to advocate for more local services to meet current and future community need.