The Free from Violence Local Government Program 2022-2025 has been released, with grants of up to $270,000 over three years available to Victorian councils to deliver long-term family violence prevention initiatives.

The program was launched by Victorian Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Gabrielle Williams, at the Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) Gender Equality, and Preventing Violence Against Women and all forms of Gender-Based Violence Network meeting.

The grants support the implementation of The Local Government Guide To Preventing Family Violence and All Forms of Violence Against Women (the Guide), to be released mid-2022.

This investment builds on the previous Free from Violence Local Government Grants Program. It supports new council obligations under the Gender Equality Act 2020.

As part of today’s launch, Minister Williams also unveiled MAV’s Communities Free from Violence: local government leading change, a publication and video showcasing the 35 council projects funded by the 2018 grants program. 

The booklet and video highlight why councils are a critical facilitator when tackling this issue and provides examples of the breadth of diverse work many communities have already undertaken to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women.

This work includes forming community coalitions, engaging sector experts and providing training and support to improve gender equality and prevent family violence. 

The results of these initiatives underline the benefits of utilising existing council networks and community connections in preventing all forms of family violence.

MAV President, Cr David Clark, said the new program will help councils to continue the significant work that has already started to prevent family violence.

“For more than a decade, Victorian councils have proven their unrivalled reach and capacity to engage with communities around the issue of family violence prevention,” Cr Clark said.

“Councils are working alongside sports clubs, businesses and schools to drive real, sustainable change and we’re proud to emphasise this work through our publications and those of our member Councils.

“It’s fitting that this announcement is made during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Councils are doing an important job engaging their communities in conversations about gender equality, respect and ending the scourge of family violence through this campaign.”

Applications for the Program are now open and close Monday 28 February 2022.

Visit the Local Government Victoria website to access the program guidelines and submit an application.

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