Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s continued support of the organisation’s prevention of violence against women work. 

Victorian Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams on Friday reaffirmed her support for the 12 women’s health services and their family violence prevention work, with $600,000 of the government’s recent $59.4 million mental health package specifically dedicated to these organisations. 

Minister Williams said the funding package was designed to ensure women’s health services could help manage the family violence impacts of coronavirus. 

“This additional funding is about keeping the sector running so they can deliver that all important help,” she said. 

“Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation around the world, including here in Victoria – in these uncertain times prevention of family violence remains a critical priority for our government.” 

WHGNE chief executive officer Amanda Kelly said the organisation’s services were more important than ever, due to a spike in family violence during times of crisis, such as the pandemic. 

“Our own research into gender and disaster – with a particular focus on the period during and after bushfires – has demonstrated an increase in family and domestic violence during disaster,” Ms Kelly said. 

With stage three restrictions due to coronavirus requiring that people self-isolate in their homes, we’re hearing of the particularly troubling phenomenon of women being confined to homes with perpetrators of family violence. 

“Now more than ever, we need to ensure we can support all women in our communities and make sure they have easy access to all the resources they need to be safe and well.” 

Ms Kelly said the organisation was committed to continuing to support the communities of the Goulburn Valley and north-east Victoria during and after the COVID19 pandemic. 

“Our entire team is working remotely to continue providing women’s health resources, advice around service access and information about women’s health, violence prevention, economic empowerment and gender equity to our communities,” Ms Kelly said. 

“And coming out the other side of this pandemic, we look forward to working alongside our partners in our communities to realise our collective goal of the elimination of family violence, and gender equality for all.”

For further information on WHGNE’s work prevention of violence against women in the Goulburn Valley and north-east Victoria, visit www.whealth.com.au.