Central Victorian support agencies have welcomed a $20.4 million state government package targeting perpetrators of family violence.
Annie North Women's Refuge chief executive Julie Oberin said the funding may curb additional family violence by removing perpetrators from the home and linking them into men's behaviour change programs.
"This could make it safer for women and children who are enabled to stay at home, but they should also be linked into specialist family violence services for added safety and support," Ms Oberin said.
The funding will enable 1500 perpetrators of family violence, or people who believe they are at risk of using violence, to leave their homes and move to short or long-term accommodation.
Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams said the funding is designed to get Victorians through the months ahead.
"It means that perpetrators are held accountable and in view of the system," Ms Williams said.
The government said it will also provide intervention and behaviour change programs for those who are using violence in the home, including a dedicated support for adolescents using violence and their families.
Ms Williams said 4436 family violence offences have been detected during lockdown, with 558 people charged.
"Men's Referral Service has also seen an 11 per cent increase in calls for assistance," she said.
Women's Health Loddon Mallee chief executive Tricia Currie said it is important that a line of sight is kept to the perpetrators of family violence.
"We have evidence that through COVID-19 and the lockdown that reporting did drop off," Ms Currie said.
"The opportunity to report drops off because surveillance upon women is much closer and it's harder to make a private call.
"We know that as restrictions eased, reporting did go up again and there is a percentage of woman reporting who had never experienced family violence or abuse."
The Centre for Non-Violence said while it is unsure how funds will be distributed, they have been committed to programs enabling perpetrators to leave their homes.
Behaviour change programs support men to address family violence, with 65 men waiting to receive support in Bendigo.
CNV client services general manager Yvette Jaczina said the organisation's capacity to continue working with men on an individual basis was under pressure and additional funding would hep address that.
"We've been actively working to engage with men and understand their support needs, while continuing to assess the risk to women and children," Ms Jaczina said.
Centre Against Sexual Assault chief executive Kate Wright said her agency works with young people, up to the age of 18, who have exhibited problematic or sexual behaviours towards others.
"We receive limited funding to deliver our Sexually Abusive Behaviour Treatment Service," Ms Wright said.
"Any increase in funding will keep more people safe and also work to prevent behaviours occurring into the future."
Premier Daniel Andrews said it was an important funding package.
"With this package, we're helping more victim survivors stay in their own homes, while perpetrators are kept in full sight," he said.
"If you are using violence or hurting someone in your family - or if you're worried that you might - then the very best thing you can do is ask for help. Take the first step and contact the Men's Referral Service."
The Victorian government has announced a $20.4 million funding package to support critical and immediate services targeting the perpetrators of family violence.
"The funding we are allocating is designed to get us through the months ahead.
"It will allow 1500 people to access short-term accommodation and behaviour change programs and 100 people to access long-term accommodation."
If you or someone you know is affected by family violence or sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
In central Victoria, the Centre for Non-Violence can be reached on 5430 3000.
The Sexual Assault Crisis Line is available on 1800 806 292.
The Men's Referral Service provides counselling to men who carry out family violence, on 1300 766 491.
La Trobe University students who experience family violence or know someone who is, can contact the Speak Up service on 9479 8988.
In an emergency, call 000.
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