What we are asking
Urgent funding for crisis accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula:
- to keep women and children safe when escaping family violence
- 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 Western Port
- 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.
In 2020-21, there were 2,158 family violence incidents reported to Police on the Mornington Peninsula. Reported incidents increased by more than 14% between 2018-19 and 2020-21. 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 higher incidence of family violence than the Melbourne metro 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.
All forms of violence against women and their children are underpinned by gender inequality, which is compounded by other forms of disadvantage and discrimination.
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 and are in alignment with the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy and the Gender Equality Act.
This request 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 refuges
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.