DV cam­paign suc­cess

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

AN­OTHER year and an­other Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Aware­ness Month is done and dusted, but the is­sue re­mains.

Although the hard-work­ing, self­less team at the Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice say the cam­paign has been a suc­cess, they’re not done yet.

Not un­til the is­sue is di­min­ished and we can one day live in a vi­o­lence-free com­mu­nity.

On Tues­day morn­ing the team at WCCS re­flected on what they had achieved over the month and planned for the next steps to take.

CEO Steve Alexander com­mended the sup­port and in­ter­est from the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially from the work­place re­sponse at the Air­lie Beach Ho­tel on May 14.

“I think that (the work­place re­sponse) was one of the high­lights for me,” he said.

“The Q and A part of the night was in­for­ma­tive and con­struc­tive.

“It was re­ally great to see en­thu­si­as­tic em­ploy­ers want to ad­dress do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and un­der­stand their duty of care.”

Speaker Sue Man­they, also client ser­vices manager of WCCS, has since spo­ken at Lunch­box Talks or­gan­ised by Small Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Ser­vices in Can­non­vale, Air­lie Beach and Bowen, where she con­tin­ues to blow the horn and raise aware­ness of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the work- place. Ms Man­they said the Blow the Whis­tle cam­paign, in­tro­duced dur­ing DVAM month, was still fly­ing high.

Ms Man­they ex­plained the cam­paign was all about call­ing out vi­o­lent be­hav­iour through fo­cus­ing on the sport­ing com­mu­nity.

“The best thing about it is that it’s ever-go­ing, you see peo­ple with the whis­tles re­lay­ing the mes­sages” she said.

Mean­while the Whit­sun­day Women’s Refuge Cen­tre is at a record-break­ing high but not a pos­i­tive one.

This month is the busiest the cen­tre has ever been, with staff pushed to their lim­its and vic­tims on wait­ing lists and pre-book­ing them­selves in.

Mr Alexander said it was hard to see how many women and fam­i­lies were in need of emer­gency shel­ters in the re­gion but the fact they were tak­ing steps to get help was good.

Ms Man­they said th­ese re­sults proved the re­gion was in high de­mand for an ad­di­tional or ex­panded refuge ser­vice and Mr Alexander added that be­ing in a re­gional area meant vic­tims couldn’t travel to other shel­ters and of­ten needed help im­me­di­ately.

This year’s can­dle­light vigil for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence was de­scribed as the re­gion’s most “per­sonal” one yet, re­lay­ing the mes­sage that do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence is an is­sue for ev­ery­one not just the vic­tims.

WCCS would like to see more male par­tic­i­pants in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence events in the fu­ture.

“This is not be­cause we are say­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence hap­pens to just women, be­cause it doesn’t,” Ms Man­they said.

“Men can be vic­tims too.

“But by par­tic­i­pat­ing in th­ese events, you are stand­ing against all forms of do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence.”

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact WCCS on 4946 2999.

DV connect is a 24-hour do­mes­tic vi­o­lence hot­line on 1800 811 811.

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