A single point of contact for people facing family violence will not only help them find assistance, it will make it easier to hold perpetrators to account.
That was the view of Anglicare Victoria Bendigo regional director Francis Lynch as the state government on Thursday announced Bendigo would soon have an Orange Door hub.
The hubs are a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and will see a single point of contact established for services in Bendigo and the wider region.
Anglicare Victoria is one of the local organisations partnering with the government to open the centre.
“Improved information sharing will also mean we can all do more to hold perpetrators of violence accountable and protect vulnerable women and children,” Mr Lynch said.
That has been one of the significant gaps in the system, which the government says has left women and children more vulnerable.
Centre for Non-Violence CEO Margaret Augerinos said the Orange Door will initially help services respond to referrals from police.
“Those referrals currently go to a range of services,” she said.
“This new process is designed to get the referrals to one place and then multidisciplinary teams will work together to assess the situation, see who is best placed to respond and work out a coordinated response to that family.
“That way they aren’t getting contacted by lots of different organisations after the one referral.”
Ms Augerinos said over time the Orange Door could become another way for families to approach services for help, stressing that it would not replace other ways people currently get assistance.
The Bendigo hub is still some time away. Ms Augerinos said the current timeline will see the Orange Door open late next year, with much of the planning still to take place.
Thursday’s announcement of hubs at Bendigo, Ballarat and Shepparton takes the total number of Orange Doors planned or operating across the state to eight.
More than 15,000 people have already been referred to The Orange Door since the commencement of operations this year, with thousands of people having come through the door to seek specialist help, advice and support.
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