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Yarra responds to Royal Commission into Family Violence

8 December 2016

Yarra City Council will investigate a range of measures to reduce family violence and support the needs of victims, following recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The recent Royal Commission report recommended an overhaul of Victoria’s family violence support systems. The Commission called on all levels of government, including local councils, to ‘provide strong leadership and supports effective and coordinated strategies to address family violence’.  

One in 6 women in Victoria experience physical or sexual abuse from a current or former partner. In Yarra alone, there was 972 incidents of family violence reported in 2015-16, an increase in 24.5% on the previous year.

For more information and statistics on family violence in Yarra, visit the Women’s Health in the North website.

At its meeting on 6 December, Council unanimously agreed to investigate a number of options to support victims of family violence, including a review  of the services currently available across Yarra and their ability to offer accessible housing, counselling and legal services to victims of family violence.

The full Council resolution from 6 December 2016 is available below:

Moved:  Councillor Jolly                           Seconded:  Councillor Coleman

“That Council resolve:

(a)       Officers prepare a report on the various measures Council can take to reduce family violence and respond to the needs of victims, as per Recommendation 94 of the recent Royal Commission into Family Violence;

(b)       such report to be submitted in February 2017 and to:

(i)        include a list of the current services available across Yarra and their ability to offer accessible housing, counselling and legal services to victims of family violence;

(ii)       include officers’ views on the suitability of 152 Hoddle Street and the surrounding precinct and any other suitable sites in Yarra to include family violence services and act as a service hub;

(iii)      outline options for Council to directly employ a team of family violence caseworkers to help victims navigate services available to them; and

(c)       Officers identify sites across Yarra that could be suitable for public housing developments to provide long-term housing for survivors of family violence."

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