​The Anglican Church is urging the Victorian Government to increase funding of programs that help prevent violence against women or provide support for those suffering domestic violence.

Chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee, Bishop Philip Huggins, said today he is alarmed that demand for these programs is reported to be rising faster than available funding.

“Even though this is a time of budgetary constraints, preventing violence and building more peaceful families and communities is a goal shared by all Victorians, and should be a major priority for the State Government,” he said.

“The level of violence against women and children is well documented. Our common task is to prevent further unnecessary suffering.”

Bishop Huggins said the recent Four Corner’s program about Andrea Pickett and Saori Jones and the 130 women who were murdered by their partners or ex-partners last year in Australia alone, are “tragic examples of what happens when family violence is not recognised or adequately responded to.”

“These specialised counselling and support services are crucial investments in our communities, saving lives, rebuilding families and preventing future sadness. The State Government’s reported difficulty funding domestic violence programs, including some 35 men’s behaviour programs across the state, is thus unhelpful to community well-being.”

The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne Violence Prevention Program, the first of its kind in Australia, works to stop violence against women before it occurs. More information is available at: www.melbourne.anglican.com.au/women

Anyone concerned about domestic violence should contact the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service on
1800 015 188 or the Men’s Referral Service on 1800 065 973.

Bishop Philip Huggins 
Mob: 0418 799 515

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