The WIFVC believes in organisations across the West working together to keep women and children safe. Our integrated approach involves coordinating strategy and action with community services, courts, police and anyone else who encounters the problem of family violence.
From the beginning, the WIFVC has brought together committed and respected people. Their work covers the spectrum from primary prevention through to post-crisis support and everything along the way. Since 2006, these people have worked in partnership to bring about a historic transformation in the family violence system in Melbourne’s west.
What is an Integrated Service System?
An integrated service system in response to family violence means ensuring all parts of the family violence service system work in collaboration to keep women and children safe and hold perpetrators of family violence to account. The WIFVC creates and nurtures collaborative relationships between organisations in the West who provide family violence services, or service those who may have experienced or be at risk of family violence.
This approach will help provide victims of family violence and their children with easier access to immediate responses, greater counselling and support services, and housing option as well as behaviour change programs for men.
The integrated approach aims to:
- Reduce deaths, injuries and the emotional impact of family violence on victim-survivors
- Strengthen responses from organisations, including courts and police, to all women and children experiencing family violence
- Increase the accountability of and access to behaviour change programs for men who use violence
- Emphasise the rights, needs and safety of children
- Provide greater support to all workers who deal with victim-survivors of family violence
- Give community members the confidence to speak out against family violence
For more information about Family Violence Integration, see this fact sheet.
How does integration work in the West?
Since July 2006 women and children affected by family violence in the western metro region have been supported by an alliance of local agencies including Women’s Health West, Western Region Health Centre, Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women’s Services, and McAuley Community Services for Women. Better communication between agencies ensures that women receive an appropriate, gendered response, regardless of how they seek help.
A parallel initiative of the government’s reform agenda is the funding of Men’s Behaviour Change Programs, implemented by an alliance of agencies in the western metro region. The alliance includes Djerriwarrh Health Service, Relationships Australia Victoria and Lifeworks as well as agencies who deliver services in the northern metro. Together, these agencies make up the North & West Men’s Integrated Family Violence Partnership.
The advantage of the WIFVC is that it brings these partnerships together and invites all organisations and government agencies involved in responding to family violence to participate in making our regional system work better for women, children and men in the West.