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Change for Sam Strategy

Increased community awareness and better support for women experiencing violence with Change of Sam Strategy.

By Portal Admin - 20th January 2019 - Back to News

Community members and service providers came together in July and August last year following the tragic death of Samantha Fraser in Cowes. Under the title Change for Sam, the group (including representatives from Cowes community, Bass Coast Health, Victoria Police, Bass Coast Shire Council and SalvoCare) has been working actively to achieve increased community awareness and better support for women experiencing violence in our community.

Gabrielle Williams MP, Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, has recently announced that funding of $40,000 will be provided to support the initiative. The group will now advertise for a project officer to further develop and implement the Change for Sam strategy. This is a wonderful response from Family Safety Victoria and will allow the group to continue to develop a model for increased localised services for our community.

In the short term, Gippsland Women’s Health have proivded staff to support the Change for Sam initiative and to help identify and address the issues facing women in the South Coast. Fiona Owen, Gippsland Women’s Health CEO said, ‘We are very pleased to be partners in this important community led initiative. It is important to maintain our focus on real actions that will end and prevent the violence against women and children in our community. These actions include challenging the condoning of violence against women; challenging harmful gender stereotypes and roles; promoting women’s independence and decision making; and strengthening positive, equal and respectful relationships. Together with the Change for Sam group we are aiming for an equal and respectful Gippsland for all women that is free from violence."

The Change for Sam group is also maintaining a strong relationship with the new Orange Door service in Morwell. The Orange Door offers a new way to access services for women, children and young people who are experiencing family violence. Although the Morwell Orange Door covers Bass Coast, the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, is currently seeking input from the Change for Sam group about the best approach to localising similar services more directly on the Bass Coast, including activities aimed at preventing family violence.

If you, a friend or family member are experiencing family violence call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) the 24 hour National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information referral service; The Orange Door 1800 319 354 (business hours), a free service for adults, children and young people experiencing or who have experienced family violence. If you need emergency assistance call 000.

Men who need to change their behaviour contact 24 hour Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491


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