Family, domestic violence response bolstered in budget

Domestic, family and sexual violence responses and support services have been bolstered in the State Budget. Picture: ON FILE

By Callum Ludwig

In an otherwise fiscally conservative Victorian Budget for 2024/25, investment in addressing family violence stood out as a key focus of expenditure from the State Government.

The further investment brings Victoria’s investment into supporting family and sexual violence services to $3.8 billion since the 2015 Royal Commission into Family Violence, in which the Victorian Government announced in 2023 that all 227 recommendations had been implemented.

“We’re proud of our nation-leading reforms and we will continue working to keep women and children safe,” Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Vicki Ward said.

“We know that there is so much more to do. We want a Victoria that is free from family violence.”

$269 million has been committed to initiatives designed to prevent family violence and improve safety for women;

$42 million is directed to ‘deliver timely and individualised interventions and continued support’

$39 million has been set aside for schools and early childhood services to continue to deliver the Respectful Relationships program,

$24 million aims to bolster the information-sharing capabilities of police, courts and agencies through a Central Information Point

$16 million is dedicated to providing community-led and culturally safe responses to family violence in Aboriginal communities with Aboriginal women anywhere between 35 to 45 times more likely to experience violence than non-Aboriginal women.

A Victorian Government spokesperson said Victoria leads the nation with our work to strengthen how we prevent and respond to family violence and violence against women.

“We know we have more work to do for a future where women, children and young people are safe,” they said.

“We support victims of family violence in Victoria with initiatives such as the state-wide Orange Door Network,”

“The budget includes measures to sustain support to victim survivors, drive down family violence and sexual assault, including funding for perpetrators to change their behaviour, and tools and guidance for working with children and young people.”

Since its opening in May 2022, The Orange Door Outer East with sites in Croydon and Belgrave has received more than 19,000 referrals and provided support to more than 21,000 people, including more than 8,800 children through outreach across the Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges local government areas.

The Orange Door Outer East is delivered in partnership by Family Safety Victoria, Anglicare, FVREE, VACCA, Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service and Child Protection, aiming to provide access to coordinated help and support for family violence, and the wellbeing and development of children. 

The Orange Door network consists of specialist family violence, child and family and Aboriginal services to provide crisis assistance and support, risk and needs assessment, safety planning and connection to other services with support offered face to face, or via telephone or email. 

The Orange Door Outer Eastern Melbourne is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm. For more information, call 1800 271 150 or visit

$76 million of funding is dedicated to supporting victim-survivors of family, domestic and sexual violence including providing access to therapies and support for children and young people recovering from trauma of family violence or sexual abuse, measures to ensure they are safe in their own homes and support for staffing at Sexual Assault Services Victoria and training packages for practitioners.

Head of Service Design and National Practice Lead for Family Violence at EACH Olivia Sinn said their team of Financial Counsellors frequently support and advocate for people experiencing financial abuse: an under-recognised, poorly understood, but insidious form of family violence.

“Financial abuse is a key factor in perpetuating family violence, but is often not recognised because people do not recognise this as violence,” she said.

“Financial (or economic) abuse can include refusing to contribute to household expenses, stopping partners from working, preventing access to bank accounts, and taking out loans in a partner’s name,”

$6.8 million is specifically set to bolster financial counselling services for family violence victim-survivors, providing support to stabilise their financial position and recover from abuse.

Ms Sinn said EACH welcomes the continuation of funding from the Victorian Government in the budget to address the impact of financial abuse.

“Family violence is primarily about power and control,” she said.

“We can help keep more families free from violence by raising awareness, preventing, and better responding to financial abuse.”

In the corrections and justice system, $31 million is being poured into supporting the prosecution of family, domestic and sexual violence offences with $600,000 also committed to better educating and creating an understanding of family violence in the justice workforce.