Supporting Victorian women by investing in their health and wellbeing is a key priority of the Victorian Coalition Government’s 2012-13 Budget, Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said.
Violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness for women under the age of 45 living in Victoria.
“The Coalition Government is committed to addressing violence against women,” Ms Wooldridge said.
While an Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women and their Children is set to be released later in the year following extensive consultation, the Budget provides significant new spending to prevent violence wherever possible and respond effectively when it does occur.
“We are investing $20 million to establish three new Multi-Disciplinary Centres across Victoria to investigate sexual assaults, child abuse, and provide specialist support for victims,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“In addition, $7.4 million will help prevent violence in the first place, by providing better treatment of children and young people exhibiting problematic sexual behaviour that may lead to offending later in life.”
Ms Wooldridge said $4.6 million was provided in the Budget for regional integration co-ordinators across 12 regions to better co-ordinate services for women and children who have experienced family violence.
“Co-ordinators form partnerships between counselling, accommodation, child protection, policing and judicial systems to support women fleeing family violence,” Ms Wooldridge said.
The Budget also invests $8.8 million to strengthen the oversight of sex offenders and $20.4 million to fund mediation of intervention order applications.
The government is also funding programs that will specifically target women’s health, including: