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Monday, 19 June 2017 10:52

Guidelines launched to help family violence service providers prevent discrimination upon Royal Commission’s recommendation

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will today launch the Guideline: Family violence services and accommodation as a result of Recommendation 141 from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

"Family violence is a widespread and systemic human rights issue that continues to have devastating impacts on many families and our whole community," Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton said.

"Family violence can happen to anyone, but people from diverse backgrounds and experiences may face particular barriers to accessing services. This could amount to discrimination.

"This Guideline focuses on how to improve access to services for a range of communities, including Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, older people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people from different faith communities, from the LGBTI communities, people from regional and rural communities, people with disabilities, male victims, women in prisons and women working in the sex industry.

"Our guidelines provide practical and useful advice for services on how to prevent discrimination. They include case studies, links to toolkits and resources to help service providers understand the law and what they can do to prevent discrimination.

"Our guidelines will help all people experiencing family violence to access the support they need."

Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc. (WIRE) CEO Julie Kun welcomed the launch of the guidelines.

"WIRE understands how difficult it is to reach out, disclose and get support around family violence, even more so if you anticipate being discriminated against or misunderstood. That is why these guidelines are so important. They will help a lot of organisations," Ms Kun said.

"Last year we had a service user call us up a few days after we provided her with support and referrals. She said we were the first organisation she had spoken to in years that, rather than treating her solely as a sex worker, was able to look at her situation as a whole. It brought home to us how few safe and accepting places marginalised people have.

"Ensuring inclusive practice is a journey that every family violence organisation needs to take. These guidelines will help organisations and workers in the sector respond appropriately to people that too often face discrimination and rejection."

The guidelines were developed in consultation with 55 stakeholder organisations, agencies and departments.

The guidelines will be launched to family violence service providers and stakeholders by Commissioner Hilton at 2pm on Monday June 19 at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre in Melbourne.

Download a copy of the guidelines and educational resources

If you have experienced family violence you can call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line available 24 hours a day on 1800 RESPECT
(1800 737 732).

Media contact

Peter Davies
0447 526 642

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