Fo­rum tack­les abuse of dis­abled Cri­sis shel­ter to aid vic­tims

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

A CRI­SIS shel­ter will be es­tab­lished in Townsville as part of a State Gov­ern­ment re­sponse to the do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence cri­sis, with 180 cases in Queens­land each day.

Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Min­is­ter Co­ralee O’Rourke, who hosted a fo­rum in Townsville yesterday, said com­mu­nity at­ti­tudes to do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence needed to change.

“It is more than just some­thing we can sweep un­der the car­pet ... it’s some­thing that needs to be ad­dressed by ev­ery per­son in ev­ery city and ev­ery town,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

The Gov­ern­ment will spend $ 31.3 mil­lion over four years on ini­tia­tives aimed at tack­ling do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence as part of its re­sponse to a re­port by a task­force chaired by Dame Quentin Bryce.

In­cluded in the spend­ing is $ 8 mil­lion over two years to es-

Sadly, do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence can reach all corners of the com­mu­nity CO­RALEE O’ROURKE

tab­lish ded­i­cated 72- hour cri­sis shel­ters in Bris­bane and Townsville and a fur­ther $ 11.9 mil­lion over four years to op­er­ate the shel­ters.

Yesterday’s fo­rum con­cen­trated on tack­ling do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the dis­abil­ity sec­tor.

“Sadly, do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence can reach all corners of the com­mu­nity and peo­ple with dis­abil­ity are some of our most vul­ner­a­ble Queens­lan­ders,” Mrs O’Rourke told the fo­rum yesterday.

“There is al­ready a lot of work be­ing done at a lo­cal level by com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and ser­vice providers here in Townsville to help tackle do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence.

“There are par­tic­u­lar is­sues for peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity in re­la­tion to do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence and we need to make sure that we have the sup­port in place to help pre­vent vi­o­lence and pro­tect those who have ex­pe­ri­enced it.

“This round­table gives us the chance to bring to­gether com­mu­nity lead­ers from the dis­abil­ity sec­tor to dis­cuss how we can work to­gether on lo­cal so­lu­tions to elim­i­nate this prob­lem.

“Com­mu­nity sup­port is vi­tal be­cause only through ac­tion from the whole com­mu­nity can we hope to elim­i­nate this ter­ri­ble prob­lem.”

About 40 peo­ple at­tended the round­table ses­sion.

The task­force chaired by Dame Quentin found the level of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in Queens­land had in­creased by more than 10 per cent since 2010- 11. It found there were 64,246 oc­cur­rences of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in 2013.

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