Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Research Report 2012 - Page 12

11 PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE The Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Project (‘the Whittlesea Family Violence Project’) is a partnership project involving the organisations that make up the Whittlesea Community Futures (WCF) CALD cluster group. The WCF is a partnership of multidisciplinary agencies working together towards a common goal, to improve opportunities for the people of the City of Whittlesea. The CALD cluster group is one of four such groups created by the WCF Partnership in 2010 to focus on priority areas including positive aging, families and children, youth and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. In its Action Plan for 2011-2016 the CALD cluster group identified family violence as one of three key priority areas along with Racism and Community Relations and Employment. Family violence has now become an acute issue for Whittlesea as a whole. In 2011 as a result of efforts made by the Whittlesea Community Futures Partnership funding was secured from the Scanlon Foundation2 to conduct a scoping exercise to document the reach of existing family violence services to Whittlesea’s CALD communities, to assess the adequacy of existing services and identify gaps in service provision and to document key issues, challenges and barriers to service access. The objective of the Whittlesea Family Violence Project is to develop an innovative, culturally appropriate family violence service model tailored to the multicultural community of the City of Whittlesea. The model will aim to support CALD communities, newly arrived migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, to break the cycle of family violence and empower communities to confront and respond to the challenge of preventing violence against women. Background/Context The impetus for undertaking a scoping exercise focussing on family violence and CALD communities in the City of Whittlesea were a number of co-existing factors including: ? ? ? ? ? the comparatively high incidence of family violence in the City of Whittlesea; anecdotal evidence that existing services were not meeting the needs of CALD communities ; the larger proportion of people in the City of Whittlesea born overseas when compared to the Melbourne metropolitan average; the larger proportion of people in the City of Whittlesea who speak little or no English when compared to the Melbourne metropolitan average; Recognition of the fact that women from CALD communities face additional barriers to accessing assistance for family violence. Incidence of Family Violence The number of incidents of family violence reported to police in Victoria has increased dramatically (by 108%) in the eleven year period from 1999, when reporting first commenced, to 2011. Analysis conducted by Victoria Police and the Victorian Government Department of Justice attributes this 2 The Scanlon Foundation was established in 2001 with the purpose of enhancing social cohesion within Australia. In its mission to enhance social cohesion the Scanlon Foundation recognises the significance of cultural diversity within Australia and seeks to support capacity building including through grassroots Community based organisations and by investing in projects that develop skills and provide opportunities for people from CALD backgrounds to meaningfully contribute towards their families, education, work, cultural and community life.< www.scanlonfoundation.org.au>