Post Budget: Women’s Safety and Family Violence Support in Victoria

The State Government has committed to making a further announcement regarding additional measures to keep women safe from violence. In inTouch’s view, there are several key areas in need of attention.

inTouch welcomes the Government’s commitment to make further announcements in the coming weeks about additional measures to prevent and respond to family violence. We ask that the Government listens to, and works with, the specialist family violence sector about the key areas and target programs that need investment.   

The challenges of safety, housing, financial security and wellbeing that migrant and refugee women and children on temporary visas face when experiencing family violence are compounded by the uncertainty of their visa status, limited social connections and community supports. 

At inTouch, we are building a funding structure that recognises family violence is not an issue for government alone to solve. We are establishing partnerships with the corporate sector, connecting with philanthropists and working towards a new social enterprise. Through this model, we are ensuring that any investment from government has the biggest impact and empowers the many women and children who desperately need our help. 


inTouch requests that the Victorian Government direct investment to the following, highly impactful areas to ensure appropriate and adequate support for migrant and refugee women experiencing family violence: 

  1. Direct funding to specialist family violence services who understand the complexity and intersectionality of the most vulnerable women and children experiencing family violence.  

This will enable additional case workers to support more migrant and refugee women experiencing family violence inLanguage, inCulture through case management and crisis brokerage, as well as workforce capability uplift to support sustained, best-practice service delivery, that prioritises appropriate wellbeing supports for our staff.  inTouch supports some of the State’s most vulnerable women, yet our caseload is almost double that of other family violence services. For every client we support, there are two more women we cannot support. 

  1. Investment in targeted prevention programs is essential. 

Funding should be focused on working directly with multicultural communities, leveraging our specialist family violence expertise. This includes:

  • Community engagement to support ethno-specific leaders to work with their communities, establishing a strong understanding of family violence, to promote respectful relationships.  
  • Additional funding for our Motivation for Change (MfC) Men’s Behaviour Change Program to enable delivery to an additional 90 men as part of the State’s only inLangugage, inCulture MBCP program. Although delivered as a MBCP, MfC supports men to truly reflect on and alter their behaviour in relationships, preventing cycles of violence and future offending. Our programs have a uniquely high completion rate of 90%, demonstrating the level of engagement the program generates, particularly given it is not court mandated. 
    1. Legal services are an essential part of response and recovery for family violence and must be funded sustainably.  
    • Dedicated investment in legal and migration services, empowering migrant and refugee women to recover and break cycles of violence through our nation-leading family, property and migration practice. 
    • Expanded capacity of legal services provided by the inTouch Women’s Legal Centre. Our service is unique nationally in that we support migrant and refugee women experiencing family violence, not just with advice during a family violence crisis, but with long term representation in family and property law matters, allowing them to leave violent relationships safely, with their rights protected. 
    • Funding to retain our migration agent who supports women fleeing family violence with all visa related matters. This financial year alone, we have achieved permanent residency for over 100 women experiencing family violence. However, this position is funded through our legal services budget and does not have dedicated support from government, despite its significant and direct impact. 
        1. Strengthened measurement and evaluation that will enable more efficient and effective service delivery across the family violence sector. 
        • Support of improved evaluation, impact measurement and data collection of inTouch’s program delivery. Through academic partnerships, inTouch is working to establish an evidence base that would enable improved service delivery, and support national expansion of our unique inCulture, inLanguage model of family violence support across the spectrum of needs from prevention to recovery. 
        1. Effective recovery is prevention. We must integrate recovery and women’s empowerment into our family violence response 
        • Funding to expand the delivery of inSpire, our sector-leading family violence recovery and healing program supporting women and children to rebuild their lives and thrive after experiencing family violence. This investment would support the sustained delivery of our financial literacy and economic empowerment program, mentoring and workforce readiness supports, social events to support community building and wellbeing programs supporting mental and physical health. 

        Find out about us

        Who we are

        Subscribe to our e-newsletter

        Accessibility Tools