SUPPORT: Bernadette Wright, Judy Brauer and Inspector Stephen Donnelly celebrate the opening of Community Action Inc's new Women and Children's Counselling Centre.
SUPPORT: Bernadette Wright, Judy Brauer and Inspector Stephen Donnelly celebrate the opening of Community Action Inc's new Women and Children's Counselling Centre. Scott Kovacevic

90 women in first three months: DV hub already a help

WELL aware of the domestic violence scourge which affected Gympie families, Community Action Inc spent more than a decade lobbying for greater support.

And while the official opening of their new Women and Children Counselling Centre yesterday marked a new start for regional domestic violence aid, group CEO Judy Brauer said the service had been operating before the ribbon was cut.

"In our first three months - in which we weren't fully operational - we had 90 women through for counselling,” she said.

"We had 60 referrals for children's counselling.

"She (our counsellor) obviously wasn't able to see all 60, she's only one person, but that indicates extremely high demand.”

Supported by about $4 million in state government funding over the next five years, Ms Brauer said the facility would be another hub to help those in need.

And it was great for their efforts to have finally paid off this way.

"Bernadette (Wright, CA's domestic violence services manager) has been at Erin House for 30-something years so she's been there from the start when there was no DV legislation,” Ms Brauer said.

"It's really encouraging that governments are really getting behind and acknowledging the need that's within the community.”

While an outreach service had run from the Sunshine Coast, Ms Brauer said it had been understaffed.

"It was one part-time worker,” she said.

And once the new centre was established in the community, she hoped it would be able to outreach too.

"We'll start to provide those services by travelling out to other regions to provide support for women who were unable to travel in to see us,” she said.

"We want to empower people and provide therapeutic services for women and children who have been affected so that they can make positive change in their lives.

"To become stronger, to be educated to learn about their rights, and to learn about what's right and wrong ... to fully understand (that) what's been happening to them is not right.”

If you or anyone you know needs help, you can contact CA Inc's Women and Children Counselling Service on 5413 8088, their Financial Literacy program on 5343 7525 or MINS on 5483 9511.

People seeking help can also call DV Connect 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 811 811.

If you are in danger, call 000.

Australia violence against women statistics

  • One in six women experienced at least one violent incident from a current or former partner.
  • 75 per cent of intimate partner homicide victims were female.
  • 90 per cent of women who had experienced violence from a current partner never reported it.
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