Statement from Central Highlands Family Violence Sector

Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee

It has been a shocking couple of months with regards to gendered violence in our local community (Central Highlands region). It goes without saying that our thoughts and hearts are with the bereft families of Rebecca Young, Samantha Murphy and now this week, Hannah McGuire.

We know our community is shocked, sad and unsettled by recent events and women and marginalised people in particular feel unsafe and even fearful.
People are asking how is this still happening and what can I do? We don’t have answers in regards to any of the specifics of these acts of violence but we do know that violence against women is preventable. It is about power and control, and lack of respect. Almost ten years on from the ground-breaking Victoria Royal Commission into Family Violence, we are working in a more informed, evidence based, collaborative and consistent way from frontline support services through to initiatives around prevention of violence before it occurs.

Clearly, as a Family Violence sector, our work continues to be vital and necessary at the fullest possible capacity. As a partnership of services, we commit to continue to do what is needed to drive real and lasting change that enables a culture where violence against women does not exist. We know men are outraged by this violence and they are a key part of the solution. Violence against women requires a whole of community response with everyone working together, using their influence to call out disrespect and help make Ballarat and surrounds a safer place for women.

We also acknowledge all those working in this space and their contribution on a daily basis to this community effort. Together we are continually improving responses and encourage all those who feel unsafe or at risk to contact one of the following services:


Central Highlands Family Violence Services

The Orange Door in Central Highlands 1800 219 819
Intake and access to support services for adults, children and young people who are experiencing violence, families who need support with the care and well being of children and young people, and people who use

Cafs Ballarat 5337 3333
Services for men and adolescents who use violence

WRISC Family Violence Support 5333 3666
Services for women and children victim survivors, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific services

Berry Street 5330 5000
Services for victim survivors and people who use violence

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative 5331 5344
Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victim survivors and people who use violence

Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault 5320 3933
Sexual assault services – therapeutic support for victim/survivors of recent or historical sexual assault, supporting family members and friends; therapeutic treatment for children under 18 years engaging in problem and harmful sexual behaviours.

Grampians Community Health 5358 7400
Services for family violence victim survivors and people who use violence – Ararat focused

1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732
24/7 support for those impacted by family or sexual violence

Safe Steps 1800 015 188
24/7 Family Violence Response Centre

After Hours Crisis Response 5331 3558

Date: 15/04/2024

Category: Blog

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