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Survivors of family violence will receive more support as the Andrews Labor Government’s $3.5 million boost to counselling services across the state begins to flow this week, Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, announced today.

The funding will see the recruitment of an additional 22 full-time equivalent counselling staff who will provide an extra 40,000 hours of counselling across Victoria.

This will make it easier for women and children who have experienced family violence to access timely therapeutic support, helping them to recover.

The funding is being allocated according to need, so agencies located in areas with the greatest demand will receive the most money.

The six areas identified as having the greatest need are: Bayside Peninsula, Southern Melbourne, North East Melbourne, Western Melbourne, Inner Gippsland and Hume Moreland.

The new $3.5 million in funding, which was allocated over two years in the Victorian Budget 2015-16, ensures that additional counselling services are provided in every local government area across the state. Before 30 June, $1 million of this will be distributed.

This initiative is part of an $81.3 million package outlined in the Budget to boost family violence services and support victims.

“This new funding for family violence counselling will start flowing to services this week. We’re making sure family violence agencies are able to give women and children the support they need, no matter where they live.”

Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos

“Counselling services are vital to restoring the lives of women who are right now making the brave decision to leave violence and seek safety for themselves and their children. The Royal Commission has placed increased pressure on counselling services and this funding will help to address those demands.”

Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Fiona Richardson