Thirty-nine organisations in Victoria which are helping victims of family violence – including women and children from ethnic backgrounds – are to receive $3.5 million in funding to enable them to continue providing services to their communities.

Announced by Victorian Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos, the funding will assist organisations in employing 22 additional counselling staff, who will together provide an extra 40,000 hours of counselling across the state.

Ms Mikakos told Neos Kosmos that while help is out there for victims, many still aren’t seeking help, especially those from ethnic backgrounds.

“I recognise there may be some women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who have experienced family violence but who are not accessing mainstream counselling and support services,” she said.

“I encourage Greek women who are impacted by family violence to seek help.”

Organisations in areas with the greatest demand will be given the lion’s share of the money, with six high-need areas identified: Bayside Peninsula, Southern Melbourne, North East Melbourne, Western Melbourne, Inner Gippsland and Hume Moreland.

The Victorian government is also continuing to give $1.4 million to inTouch – the Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence – which assist women and children who don’t feel comfortable seeking mainstream help.