Recruitment is under way for a new domestic violence support hub in Shepparton, slated to open its doors in the coming weeks.
The Orange Door network, a free service for people of all ages and backgrounds, will provide advice and support for families and children experiencing or affected by family violence.
The service — a partnership between Family Safety Victoria and local providers including Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative, FamilyCare, Primary Care Connect and Nexus Primary Health — will also offer advice to support someone to seek help.
“It is scheduled to open its doors shortly and will provide crucial support under one roof for those in need, bringing together experts across specialist family violence support, child and family, Aboriginal and men’s services.”
The primary site in Vaughan St, Shepparton, will be complemented by a network of access and outreach options across the entire Goulburn region.
Greater Shepparton had the 10th highest number of family violence incidents in the state by population last year. There were 1611 incidents recorded between June 2019 and July 2020. Statewide, in the year to September 30, 2020, family incidents were up 7.5 per cent compared to the previous year, with 90,056 incidents recorded.
Yet, in the same period, victim reports decreased by 4.6 per cent. The spokesperson said leaving home or a relationship for safety reasons was “perfectly legitimate” — even during a COVID-19 lockdown — if someone was experiencing family violence.
“If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you,” they said. “You will not be fined.” To date, more than $3 billion has been invested in family violence prevention in Victoria, including the establishment of the Orange Door network.
Since its opening in 2018, more than 100,000 people had been referred to or supported by the service. For more information, visit orangedoor.vic.gov.au If you need help, ring 1800RESPECT or contact Lifeline on 131 114.