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15 January 2020
Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has thrown her support behind Wimmera Southern West Family Violence Partnership’s call to establish an Orange Door centre in Horsham.
Orange Doors are free services for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence.
The ‘one stop shop’ service is designed to make it easier for people to seek help and support earlier.
The partnership, which covers 10 local government areas including Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, West Wimmera, Horsham and Northern Grampians, was established in 2015 to provide leadership on family violence service planning and integration at a regional level.
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The partnership’s first major project was to research, understand and document the issues affecting family-violence service delivery, access and experience in the Wimmera and south-west.
Ms Kealy said the project’s overarching finding was the relationship between family violence and rurality.
She said rurality was a fundamental factor in restricting services’ ability to perform their core tasks; their capacity to meet the needs of women and children experiencing family violence, to keep them safe and to hold perpetrators to account.
“The partnership’s research shows that across the 10 local government areas represented by the partnership, there are geographic areas that have a higher incidence of family violence than the Victorian average,” Ms Kealy said.
“This is leading to an increasing demand for domestic and family-violence support services, with local service providers regularly approaching me concerned that their resources are being stretched to the limit with the increasing demand for help from Wimmera residents.
“I have long advocated for a support and safety hub in Horsham and have written several times to the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence calling for the Andrews Labor government to immediately provide funding for an Orange Door facility in Horsham.
“In communities where Orange Doors are operating, local people can readily access family violence support services, giving them the support they need before a situation reaches crisis point.”
Ms Kealy said an Orange Door service in Morwell had helped more than 5000 Gippsland residents.
“I am proud to support the partnership in their call for the Andrews Labor government to make the funding available to establish a similar facility in Horsham to provide Wimmera residents with the support services they are entitled to and expect,” she said.
The entire January 15, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!