Government called on to fund more crisis DV beds
THERE is only room enough to house five domestic violence victims in Gladstone shelters.
And that's a long way from being enough, according to Women's Health Centre manager Natasha Fee, particularly given reports of domestic and family violence in this city is about 40% higher than the state average, and climbing.
Between July 2012 and July 2015 there was a 70% increase in domestic violence order applications and a 114% increase in breaches of existing orders.
Next week Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman will receive a letter outlining the available resources in Gladstone and what's needed to alleviate the pressure. More emergency housing will be at the top of that list as well as more transitional housing and more funding for dedicated counsellors.
When a woman calls a service like DV Connect she is directed to a refuge, usually in another town.
The women's shelters are properties owned by the State Government Department of Housing but in Gladstone there is a clear shortage.
DV Connect will put women in motels if there is no space, but their resources are also stretched. Their statewide budget for accommodation is $30,000 to $40,000 a month and last month they spent $153,000.
Natasha Fee said now the "lid has come off domestic violence" the Women's Health Centre was fielding up to an extra six calls a day from women who needed help. She said many of those women were asking for counselling.
Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher met with Ms Fentiman this week. He said he was confident the government would come through with more funding and would campaign constantly until "we get a results".