Access to family violence and specialist support in Ballarat is expected to become easier for people in need by the end of the year.
A state government statement released on Thursday said the Orange Door in Ballarat is expected to be launched 'shortly'.
Orange Doors brings family violence services, perpetrator services and child and family services to the one place, designed to make it easier for victim survivors to navigate the complex system.
Family violence service leaders say having one point of contact will change the service structure.
This is about joining up a system that has, as the royal commission told us, previously been very siloed and very disconnected.Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Family Violence prevention
Minister for Family Violence Prevention Gabrielle Williams announced on Thursday funding for another five locations to be added to the Orange Door network around the state.
Five Orange Door sites are already operating and sites in Central Highlands, Loddon and Goulburn are expected to open before the end of the year.
RELATED COVERAGE: The Orange Door will transform the approach to family violence support
There has been a significant delay in the opening of the Ballarat site, with the project first announced in October 2018 with an expected opening date originally in 2019 pushed back to early 2020 before further delays.
The minister's office was contacted for information about the cause of the delay but could not respond before deadline.
The opening of the Ballarat site will come after a prolonged period of increased risk of family violence with more families at home during lockdown.
"Sadly we know for many in our community, home is not a safe place to be," Ms Williams said.
"We have been continuing on implementing family violence royal commission recommendations and continuing to build a family violence system that better meets the needs of victims and survivors."
Leaders of Ballarat family violence services including Berry Street and Child and Family Services have previously told The Courier there has been a lack of integration of services in the past.
The Orange Door was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Ms Williams said the Victorian Government had so far met 166 of the royal commission's 227 recommendations and work on the remaining recommendations was underway.
"This is about joining up a system that has, as the royal commission told us, previously been very siloed and very disconnected," she said.
Other recommendations recently implemented include a family violence jobs portal, family violence training for medical practitioners and the trial of body worn cameras for police during family violence incidents.
RELATED COVERAGE: The Orange Door in Ballarat is now expected to open in 2020
Ms Williams also announced an additional $3.4 million investment in family violence prevention on Thursday, with a focus on Aboriginal communities, multicultural communities and people with disabilities.
Premier Daniel Andrews reminded people escaping family violence or seeking support was a permissible reason for leaving home under Victoria's stay at home restrictions.
RELATED COVERAGE: Services want you to know family violence support is available
Meanwhile, Council To Homeless Persons (CHP) this week raised concerns key recommendations of the royal commission to end homelessness for people escaping family violence have not been met.
They said recommendations not delivered included giving priority to victims gaining housing as quickly as possible so they are not accommodated in motels and spend no longer than six weeks in crisis accommodation.
Another recommendation not delivered according to CHP includes planning for the statewide rollout of social housing required for family violence victims who are unable to sustain private rental accommodation.
CHP chief executive Jenny Smith said more than 11,500 people fleeing family violence approached homelessness services last year and 62 per cent remained without a home after seeking support.
"While our system prioritises women and children escaping from family violence to get into stable housing, the hard truth is that there just isn't enough social housing available to safely house everyone," she said.
"The Royal Commission's recommendations made clear that women and children should not be placed into motels or other ad hoc accommodation, but an inadequate number of refuge places, and a lack of alternative safe and affordable accommodation, means hotels, motels or caravan parks are often the only options available.
"No one should have to make the decision between remaining in an unsafe home or experiencing homelessness."
Visit orangedoor.vic.gov.au/ for information about family violence services in Ballarat.
Help is also available through 1800RESPECT, call 1800 737 732.
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