FUNDING BOOST: Beryl Wilson and Deborah Dootson.
FUNDING BOOST: Beryl Wilson and Deborah Dootson. Rachel Vercoe

Combating the 'scourge' of DV

DURING 2016 in NSW, 65% of victims of domestic violence were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island descent.

It's this unnerving figure revealed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this year that makes the work of the Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation more vital than ever.

Through a $636,405 Coalition Government grant, the Corporation have now set up additional support - Ngurrala Family Safety Services.

These new services aim to provide culturally appropriate and intensive support services, including workshops and women's camps, to indigenous peoples experiencing domestic family violence within Coffs Harbour and Nambucca.

The service will also assist indigenous people with other issues including substance abuse, mental illness, sexual abuse, trauma, social exclusion, bullying and gambling.

Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation CEO Beryl Wilson said she was pleased the Corporation will receive a further two years of funding to provide their essential services.

"There's a really high rate of domestic violence in Australia and a lot of women lose their lives at their hands of their partners or someone they know. It's a really important program,” Ms Wilson said.

"We will hep with running workshops and women's camps to discuss the issue of domestic violence, including why in the Aboriginal community there's a high rate of not reporting the crimes to police, and why domestic violence is not acceptable in our culture.”

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation would receive funding until June 30, 2019.

"This investment will enable Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation to provide additional support to people who need it the most,” Minister Scullion said.

"This project is a great example of the Coalition working with indigenous Australians to improve outcomes for First Australians living in Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Valley.”

Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker welcomed the funding to combat what he describes as a 'scourge' of domestic violence on the NSW North Coast.

"Domestic violence is not something we can accept in any community. The more resources we can provide to communities to tackle this problem from within, the better,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

"The safety of all members of our community relies on us finding ways to combat this epidemic. We can't tolerate whole families being vulnerable to violence because of the lack of support services.

"These funds will mean that affected indigenous families will no longer go without the support they so desperately need.”

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