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The Latrobe Valley has been selected as one of five trial sites for a domestic and family violence prevention toolkit.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Federal Government was funding a 12 month trial at five sites nationally and would provide Latrobe City Council with resources and tools to lead the community in violence prevention activities.

Mr Chester, a White Ribbon Day ambassador, said there were many dedicated staff and volunteers locally devoted to reducing family violence and supporting victims.

“The trial project will support Latrobe City Council to review and expand on the work already being done by local agencies to address domestic and family violence in the community,” Mr Chester said.

“We have some fantastic people working in this field who are determined to achieve change in community attitudes – because we must do better.

“There is still under-reporting of family violence, but we know that one in three Australian women over the age of 15 will experience physical violence and that one in five will experience sexual violence at some point in their lives, with 64 per cent of those incidents occurring in their homes.

“This trial will help drive much-needed cultural change and will focus on improved awareness of and responsiveness to this important issue.”

Assistant Minister for Children and Families David Gillespie said the toolkit would help councils explore short and long-term solutions to domestic and family violence in partnership with their local communities.

“The initial focus of the toolkit is on preparing for change inside the council,” Dr Gillespie said.

“From here, focus will shift to engaging the community, implementing change and tracking progress,” he said.

The development and trial of the local government toolkit is part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

Funding for the toolkit will be provided across five sites from 2017-18 to 2018-19 and will be supported by an additional $350,000 to Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety to evaluate the outcomes.

For further information on the National Plan, visit https://www.dss.gov.au/women/programs-services/reducing-violence/the-national-plan-to-reduce-violence-against-women-and-their-children-2010-2022

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