Pilot Program Helps Victim Survivors Stay Safe at Home

02 July 2024

The Allan Labor Government is continuing to support women and children experiencing family violence, with a pilot program helping victim survivors stay safe in their home instead of being forced to leave.

Acting Premier Ben Carroll and Minister for Housing Harriet Shing today visited the team at McAuley Community Services for Women – which will deliver the Safe at Home pilot allowing women and children to stay in their homes by providing rapid safety planning and wraparound support.

The model is delivered in partnership with community services organisation Meli in Geelong and is based on input from women who have lived experience of family violence and homelessness.

Under the model, rather than relocating while the perpetrator remains in the family home, victim survivors can stay at home with tailored support and safety enhancements while the perpetrator moves elsewhere. 

Safe at Home is designed to respond within 48 hours to identify individual and household needs – which could include family violence case managers, access to legal and financial experts or children’s support workers.

It would also deliver case management and trauma counselling support for the victim survivors, case management for the perpetrator to keep them in view, and alternative short-term accommodation for the perpetrator.

Safety assessments will be regularly conducted and if circumstances change and it is no longer safe to stay at home, then the victim survivor will be supported to move.

In addition, McAuley Community Services will continue providing their accommodation and social support for women at risk of homelessness due to family violence at their new purpose-built accommodation in Footscray as well as accommodation in Geelong and Ballarat.

The Labor Government has invested a further $72.1 million to provide immediate support and emergency accommodation for survivors of family violence, ensuring they have access to safe and secure housing.

The Labor Government is delivering more crisis, transitional and long-term housing options, with social housing allocations to victim-survivors growing 39 per cent since 2021. The $5.3 billion Big Housing Build is also delivering up to 1,000 dedicated homes for family violence survivors.

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine, Alison Marchant MP

We know that one of the biggest changes we can make to someone experiencing family violence is supporting them to stay in the home. That is what this pilot will deliver in the Geelong region.

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong, Chris Couzens MP

This service will provide a vital service locally, stopping homelessness, and informing our statewide response to family violence.

Quote attributable to Member for Lara, Ella George MP

Safe at Home will deliver support and wraparound services in the region, prioritising victim survivors through swift and comprehensive services.