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Sikh temples in Victoria to roll out family violence prevention project

Representative image of a Gurudwara (Sikh temple)

Along with some other faith groups, the Sikh community has received funding from the Victorian government to implement a family violence project at various Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) across the state. The project is seeking volunteers for the steering committee to oversee this project, and it is hoped that at least half of the members will be female.

The Victorian Sikh Gurduaras Council Inc has received a funding of $120,000 from the Victorian government for a family violence prevention project.

The Secretary of VSGC Jang Singh Pannu told SBS Punjabi, “As a result of the various recommendations made by the Royal Commission into family violence, the Victorian government has identified the Sikh community – along with some other faith groups – as communities which will benefit from capacity building in family violence prevention.” 

The pioneering project is now being rolled out, which is expected to take 18 months to complete. 

“As part of this project, we will identify areas where we need to build capacity, and later, professional training will be provided to religious leaders, priests, committee members and future leaders,” said Mr Singh. 

“The idea is that if someone reports family violence to any religious worker or committee member at a Gurduara, they will have the requisite training to respond to the situation according to Australian laws and regulations.” 

“At the end of the project, we would like every Sikh household to have information about Australian laws pertaining to family violence and modes of prevention,” he added.

VSGC is now seeking expressions of interest from experienced members of the Sikh community, to spearhead this pilot project to prevent family violence.

Mr Singh accepted that not many women occupy leadership positions within Sikh temples or in social organisations, and said that’s an issue that the family violence project will address. 

“We are very conscious of the fact that not many women are currently involved in decision making, but now that we are looking to establish a steering committee for the family violence project, we hope that 50 percent or more of the group is female.” 

“We are looking for 4-6 volunteers from various age groups, who have a good understanding of working in a leadership role. We should receive the expressions of interest by October 20,” he said. 

For more information, listen to the interview by clicking the audio link above or by visiting VSGC’s website on http://www.vsgc.org.au/family-violence-prevention/

Also see http://www.vsgc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/VSGC-Steering-committee-EOI-11-10-2019.pdf

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 787 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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