Djirra welcomes Victorian Government’s support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children escaping Family Violence during coronavirus
Last week the Victorian government unlocked $40.2 million dollars in response to increased demand in crisis accommodation and specialist services for people suffering or at risk of family violence during coronavirus.
The package also includes targeted funding for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations including Djirra, Victoria’s leading Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation that supports Aboriginal women and Aboriginal people who are currently experiencing family violence or have in the past.
Ms Antoinette Braybrook CEO Djirra welcomed the Victorian Government’s funding package arguing that it comes at a time when it is very much needed. She also took the opportunity to call on the Victorian Government to invest more funds in Djirra.
“Djirra specialises in family violence prioritising the safety of Aboriginal women and children and must receive additional funding to support access to services, emergency relief and flexible support packages,” Antoinette Braybrook said.
Violence against Aboriginal women and their children was already at epidemic levels before COVID-19 appeared and it is getting worse.
Ms Braybrook also stressed that the pandemic must not hide the fact that violence against Aboriginal women and their children was already at epidemic levels before COVID-19 appeared and it is getting worse.
In the wake of the pandemic, the organisation adapted its service responses in different ways using online tools when practicable. Their offices in Melbourne and the regions have had to close their doors but the Djirra is striving to stay visible to the women and children who need their services most.
Antoinette Braybrook warns that the current social distancing and isolation measures may increase family violence. At the same time the strict safety rules make it more difficult to identify victims of family violence and for victims to access support services.
“Women are faced with violent situations with nowhere to escape. Our services are only open between 9 and 5. That makes it hard for women to contact us because the kids might be around, or the perpetrator might be around as well.”
Antoinette Braybrook also took renewed the call to free women from detention, especially those who are detained for minor offenses, arguing that they are at a high risk of contracting Covid-19 while in detention. She also expressed renewed concerns for the high number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.
Djirra remains contactable to provide legal and non-legal support on 1800 105 303