State award for dedication for Lee
QUIETLY spoken Lee Prince has provided light at the end of some very dark tunnels for many vulnerable Gympie women.
Lee has worked diligently, offering outreach support and assistance to Gympie region women in domestic and family violence situations.
Earlier this month, her dedication was recognised when she was presented with a state award at the launch of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in Brisbane.
The Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Awards recognise individuals, government and non-government organisations whose innovative and exceptional work has contributed to the prevention of domestic and family violence in Queensland.
Lee was able to fill an identified gap in available support and help in a very practical way, said Erin House manager, Bernadette Wright, who nominated her for the award.
Several years ago, Erin House, Women's Health, Zonta and the Gympie community held meetings and consultations to address the incidence of domestic and family violence in the region.
As a result, an outreach information and referral position was envisaged.
Lee took up a position with the SCOPE (Suncoast Cooloola Outreach Prevention and Education) program and it wasn't long before she had galvanised the community, leading to hundreds of women being able to access support, and ultimately, strategies out of domestic violence.
Lee undertook several roles, including training first year police officers as soon as they arrived in Gympie.
This allowed them to be more aware of the complex issues surrounding domestic and family violence.
It was an aspect of her work that Lee found particularly rewarding.
Working with Gympie Police, she implemented a fax back scheme that linked victims of domestic violence with her service.
Lee concedes it is sometimes hard for outsiders to comprehend “the powerful dynamics of living with abuse”.
“My role was to give them the best options... not to control them like they had been in the past...”
Thanks in no small part to Lee Prince, the outreach network, now in place, provides victims of domestic violence with non-judgmental and confidential assistance.
For women seeking assistance to leave an unsafe situation, phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811. In an emergency, phone triple zero (000).