Leaving a tumultuous relationship is about to become a little easier for victims of domestic violence on the Gold Coast with the rollout of the region’s first stand-alone mobile support service.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said $1.1 million would be provided to Centacare to run the mobile domestic and family violence support service on the Gold Coast.
“This great new Gold Coast initiative means domestic and family violence help will be available for women and children who need assistance to find safe, long-term accommodation and extra support,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Support services are crucial in helping people experiencing domestic or family violence to break the cycle of violence by supporting them during what can be an incredibly stressful and destabilising time.
“Community groundswell and strong leadership has helped bring domestic and family violence out from behind closed doors. This has meant more and more women are seeking help, which places additional pressure on existing services.
“Centacare’s mobile service will assist women and children who may be placed temporarily in motels, community housing or with family or friends and offer them professional specialist support.”
Centacare regional manager Sue Lloyd said she welcomed the move as a step in the right direction towards meeting a service gap for women and children at risk of becoming homeless as a result of domestic and family violence.
“The sector works with many women and children who are forced to leave the family home, their friends and communities as a result of domestic and family violence,” Ms Lloyd said.
“Many end up living in their car, or couch surfing with family and friends, and they have limited housing and support options.
“This new Gold Coast service will be able to provide a vital link into services and help women find a place of safety. It will advocate on behalf of the women and children to enable them, where appropriate, to remain in their family home or to find safe accommodation and it will assist them to access support services.”
Ms Lloyd said the service will provide women and children with mobile support via phone or face-to-face, in partnership with the Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Services, Queensland Police Service and specialist housing and homelessness services on the Gold Coast.
Ms Fentiman said women needed to know support was there for them when they made the decision to leave a violent and abusive relationship.
“When women make this brave decision to leave, we must make sure we have the right support and services there to help,” she said.
The $1.1 million in funding will be provided to Centacare over the next two years.