DV campaign success
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.