Focusing on family violence during and after emergencies
Thursday, 14 May, 2020 - 16:15
Research shows family violence increases during and after emergencies such as bushfires and the Coronavirus. Mansfield Shire Council acknowledges its role as an employer is to be aware and alert to the signs of family violence within its staff and encourage other employers to do the same.
Mansfield Shire Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM, said Council has already highlighted the issue with its staff and leadership team, in-line with the Victoria government’s Respect Each Other: Call It Out campaign.
“Internally we have started a project called Leading the Change: Gender Equity and the Prevention of Violence, and we are developing a gender equity strategy for day to day operations. Council is also setting up a Contact Officer program to support any staff members experiencing family violence to access the assistance they require,” Cr Attley said.
“As it is known that emergencies lead to increased rates of family violence, we have stepped up measure to increase awareness,” said Cr Attley.
“We’d also like to increase awareness among businesses and organisations of any size in the Mansfield Shire that employ staff. We encourage you to use the free resources available from the Call It Out campaign to know what to look out for and how to support your staff,” she said.
Council’s Leading the Change (Gender Equity) Project Officer, Genevieve De Santis, said any organisation in the community that wants to know more about what Council is doing and how they too can support their organisations to address gender inequity and prevention of violence, should contact her on 03 5775 8529.
Council also has information for organisational leaders about the support available to them, should a staff member make a disclosure about a violent situation.
Support is available for individuals, whether they be adults or children, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Victorian government’s Call It Out campaign reminds families, friends, neighbours and communities that we need to work together to prevent family violence during this challenging time – and call it out when we see it.
Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Gabrielle Williams, recognised the risks are amplified during times of social distancing.
“We understand social isolation and physical distancing is extremely difficult but there’s never an excuse for family violence – as community we need to call it out and take care of each other during this difficult period,” Ms Williams said.
“We want Victorians to know that help is there if you need it – if you’re experiencing, at risk of, or witness any kind of family violence – please reach out for help and support,” she said.
For support locally, contact the Centre Against Violence (Wangaratta) on (03) 5722 2203 or these services:
Safe Steps - 1800 015 177
1800 Respect - 1800 737 732
Men's Referral Service - 1300 766 491
Child Protection Crisis Line - 1300 360 391
If you, or someone you are with, is in immediate danger, please call 000.