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Media Release: New alliance boosts specialist family violence response in Melbourne’s east

18th August 2016

Four specialist family violence organisations are uniting in Melbourne’s east to improve services for women and children in need.
The new Eastern Specialist Family Violence Alliance includes Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS), Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service (BWAHS), Kara House and Women’s Liberation Halfway House (WLHH).  The agencies will work together to strengthen their individual and collective impact.
“Our partnership will improve support for women and children as we further streamline referrals between agencies, utilise and share resources, and collaborate to respond to new and emerging opportunities,” said EDVOS CEO, Jenny Jackson.
“We will also enhance service quality and cultural sensitivity through appropriate professional development across agencies.”
Kara House and WLHH are two key women’s refuge organisations in the eastern region.
“Their involvement in the alliance will help improve access to safe accommodation options for women who want to leave abusive relationships and ensure protection for themselves and their children,” said Jenny.
“We know that a disproportionate number of Aboriginal families experience family violence, and with BWAHS as a partner organisation, access to services will improve for Aboriginal women and children in need of urgent support and accommodation.”
Member for the Eastern Metropolitan Region, Shaun Leane praised the partnership: “Alliances such as the Eastern Specialist Family Violence Alliance provide an excellent platform for further enhancing service responses for women and children impacted by family violence.  It is pleasing to see this particular alliance being formed given the skills, reputation and specialist expertise the four organisations hold.”

As the specialist family violence service for the eastern region, EDVOS has seen an unprecedented rise in the reporting of family violence through the work they do with police, the legal system and the community.
“We welcome the major reforms of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.  We recognise that specialised agencies like ours need to work together to develop and implement new ways of achieving positive outcomes for women and children, and continue our focus on perpetrator accountability,” said Jenny.
“Together, we share impressive skills and experience in family violence response: each agency is like-minded, has a unique area of specialty and holds each other’s capability in high regard. 
“Our allied effort will build on this foundation to address the increasing, urgent need for services.”

Media enquiries:  Jenny Jackson (CEO, EDVOS) on 9259 4200 /

Jenny Jackson (EDVOS CEO), Kathy Russell (Women's Liberation Halfway House Manager), Veronica Coleman (Kara House Manager), Rose Solomon (Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service Manager)
Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service (BWAHS) is the specialist Aboriginal specific family violence service in the EMR and provides a range of services and program to Aboriginal families who experience family violence including: Intensive case management for both the victim and the user of violence, a family support program, specialist children’s counselling, victims of crime services and legal advice. These services are complimented by a range of educative, cultural and therapeutic programs which aim to support families in their recovery/healing process.

Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS) is the specialist family violence service in Melbourne’s eastern metropolitan region, empowering women and children who are responding to family violence. They provide integrated support, information, case management, safety planning, community education, programs for pet safety and a strong network of referral pathways to other services.    

Kara House is part of the Victorian women’s refuge service system which provides safe and secure accommodation and support to women and children who have experienced the effects of family violence and need to relocate for their safety. Kara House operates within a feminist and multicultural perspective to enhance the rights of women and children to live free of domestic/family violence, through empowering and supporting individual women, encouraging changes in community attitudes; and advocating for structural reform.

Women's Liberation Halfway House (WLHH) believes it is the right of every individual to live in a safe and secure environment.WLHH understands that those women and children who are in or at risk of family / domestic violence should have access to the necessary supports to assist them to deal with and overcome the effects of family / domestic violence. www./

 EDVOS acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government. EDVOS also receives grants and donations from other sources.

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