Brimbank to be a safe haven for domestic violence victims

Brimbank will auspice some of the 300 new safe havens for women and children escaping domestic violence.

The state government has put $50 million into the Rapid Housing Assistance program to lease 124 houses and buy 184 properties for victims of what some are calling “domestic terrorism”.

Star Weekly reported in June that reports of domestic violence had skyrocketed in Brimbank with the Crime Statistics Agency data revealing a 16.1 per cent annual rise in family violence incidents in the year to March 31.

Properties will be made available across Melbourne’s north west, including at Melton, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Wyndham, and the houses will be owned or managed by 16 community housing organisations.

All are expected to be operational by June 30 next year.

A housing and disability spokeswoman said it was too early to say which Brimbank suburbs would be on the list.

Nor could she confirm whether some housing would be available for men.

Housing, Disability and Ageing Minister Martin Foley said the first homes would be purchased towards the end of the year, with “all of them being lived in by the end of the financial year”.

“This is crucial support for members of our community who are forced to flee their own homes,” he said.

The safe housing announcement comes as Sunshine hosted a series of recent Health West forums, which sought to find 100 Brimbank men to take a stand and make the community safer for women.