The FMC Mediation and Counselling Traralgon Family Relationships Centre celebrated a decade of community outreach this week.
The centre provides a range of family and parent dispute and resolutions options, as well as relationship support and property and financial services to the community.
The not-for-profit organisation marked the occasion with an event in Traralgon on Monday which aimed to foster participation and dialogue between key stakeholders in the community.
The event addressed the challenge of how stakeholders can create better access to services in response to the growing need in Gippsland and saw a number of other organisations, including Victoria Legal Aid, Anglicare, Quantum Family Violence, the Department of Justice, Respecting Elders Service, Gippsland Disability Advocacy, local police and Latrobe Community Health Service gather to participate in the discussion.
FMC Mediation and Counselling chief executive Serge Sado delivered an address and provided an update regarding the incidence of rising family violence in the Latrobe Valley, citing figures from Victoria Police which show an 11 per cent increase in reported family violence incidents from 2015 to 2016.
“The rise in figures of family violence in the community are a cause for concern,” Mr Sado said.
“Our family mediation and counselling services have seen a 20 per cent increase in demand in recent years in response to an increase of family violence incidents at our Traralgon site.”
He said the demand for the services of the Family Relationships Centre and other similar organisations would continue to rise.
“The greatest challenge is how we can create better access to services in response to the growing need in Gippsland to those who many need it before they hit crisis point,” he said.
“It cannot be understated the importance of a community-based approach to family violence through the collaboration of local police, legal, mental health and family organisations.”