Shared from the 7/29/2020 Northwest Telegraph eEdition

Agencies unite to curb DV

An alliance of family and domestic violence support agencies will seek to curb the scourge in the Pilbara with a new, unified approach.

The Pilbara Family and Domestic Violence Network brings together domestic violence service providers across the region to collaborate at a high level, while being informed by frontline services about the needs and gaps in service delivery.

Network co-ordinator and Pilbara manager for the WA Council of Social Service Celeste Stephens said family violence was escalating and frontline services were severely overburdened.

Ms Stephens said the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated the family and domestic violence situation in the Pilbara, leading to the need for the network, but that there had been a great response from service providers who were keen to work together.

“Victims were stuck at home with perpetrators, and there was nowhere for perpetrators to turn to seek treatment or support,” she said.

Mission Australia, Newman Futures and Hedland Collective have all played a major part in organising the network, with the initial discussion focused on the need for more preventative services.

Three areas for attention were identified, with an action group working on each: the need for place-based programs for men and perpetrators, a community awareness campaign to change perceptions of family and domestic violence and an examination of ways to bring service providers together.

Ms Stephens said these areas were seen as a way to get some short-term “quick wins” but they would feed into a long-term strategy to tackle the family and domestic violence situation.

“The crux is that communitylevel change is required. It will take a lot of people and a lot of time. It’s multi-level and across the region,” she said.

“We’re really encouraged by the response, not just from the frontline workers but from the wider community and industry.”

Victims were

stuck at home with perpetrators, and there was nowhere for perpetrators to turn to seek treatment . . .

Celeste Stephens

See this article in the e-Edition Here