Campaign highlights action in DV push
ONCE one woman and her family have left our local Women’s Refuge Centre, another is immediately in.
The centre is packed and right now it’s the busiest staff have ever been, with victims of domestic violence prebooking and the centre having to provide temporary motel accommodation until space is available.
Domestic violence is a prevalent, chilling and very real part of the Whitsunday community.
Meet Alanna Schneider and Heather Carr from the Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service (WCCS), who make up a small part of a quality team doing everything in their power scourge.
To coincide with Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), Ms Schneider and Ms Carr have created a confronting display at the Cannonvale Beach Library asking for a violencefree community.
The static display includes general information, women’s assist cards and statistics, and is highlighted by T-shirts with hand-painted messages from community members speaking out against domestic and family violence.
The exhibit is on display from May 11-23 and will be at Whitsunday Shopping Centre on Monday, May 25.
Ms Carr shared some hardhitting statistics about our local refuge centre saying that since July 2014, 46 women and 93 children had lived there at some point.
In the final weeks of May and ultimately DVAM, WCCS is urging the continuation of community awareness.
The WCCS team are calling on those in the community to trust their instincts - the theme of DVAM for 2015. The idea is that the general public can help end the DV epidemic by calling out violent behaviours whether physical or mental and reporting controlling environments.
The team at WCCS say although the message is being received, there is still more to be done.
“Since the DVAM, we’ve had a record number of referrals from (domestic violence hotline) DVConnent,” Ms Schneider said.
Amid the darkness, Ms Schneider said she was thankful for the community support and the provision of “normal” experiences for the victims violence, which she described as always welcomed.
“Places like Cruise Whitsundays donate reef tours and you just imagine what that kind of freedom means for someone in a controlling and hostile household,” she said.
For more information contact WCCS on 4946 2999. DVConnect is a 24-hour hotline on 1800 811 811.
MAKING A CHANGE: Heather Carr and Alanna Schneider (WCCS) with the static display at Cannonvale Beach Library.