Need for non-crisis support in domestic violence situations

MORE NEEDED: Kym Haynes, Georgia Phillips and Jane Sleight-Leach say more long-term support is needed for victims of domestic violence. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough
MORE NEEDED: Kym Haynes, Georgia Phillips and Jane Sleight-Leach say more long-term support is needed for victims of domestic violence. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

VICTIMS of domestic violence have access to crisis support but get little badly-needed long-term help, say counsellors.

They say victims can get crisis accommodation but help with longer term safe living quarters and ongoing counselling is largely missing.

Sheldon-based counsellor Georgia Phillips offered to accommodate a woman who was staying in a motel at the expense of DV Connect, but was told there was no funding.

She said the motel that housed the woman, who had left her partner earlier this year, cost between $80 and $100 a night.

She had offered accommodation, including counselling, to the woman, but they could not access funding to cover the $500 a week cost.

The woman said DV Connect had put her up in the motel as there was no space available in a refuge at the time.

She said the only other help she was offered was assistance to complete forms required by the Department of Human Services.

Jane Sleight-Leach, who also works with women affected by domestic violence, offered support to the woman after they met at Redland Hospital.

Ms Sleight-Leach said there was a lack of organisations working to help people recover from abusive relationships.

“When women have left, they are left in the cold,” she said.

“That was the position I was in 10 years ago and nothing has changed. There are probably more women in that position now.”

Her colleague Kym Haynes said the focus on domestic violence was largely on crisis management.

“There needs to be space and time for recovery,” she said.