OPINION: New site a good start but room to improve
THE State Government recently launched a new website for victims of domestic and family violence and in doing so has removed one of the obstacles for victims who are seeking help and advice.
It is vital that when a person decides to leave an unhealthy relationship that they have access to wraparound support.
The statistics are telling: one in five women over the age of 15 and one in 20 men have experienced sexual violence in their relationship.
In this digital age it means that information and help should be readily accessible at the end of a keyboard or text message. However, finding local support and services is not always straightforward.
The advice required by victims includes myriad services with basic information about what acts constitute domestic violence, legal advice, housing options, mental health support, court support, advice about parenting arrangements, child care arrangements and employment options all being required.
With the statistics as they are, the chances are that you know someone who has been affected by domestic violence.
The website also has a really useful section about how to provide assistance and intervene if you suspect someone you know is in a domestically violent situation.
I was surprised however that the site has failed to include some local services I would see as critical including contacts for the Vulnerable Persons Unit operated by the Queensland Police Service, the legal information that can be provided by Legal Aid Queensland, and the Phoenix House sexual assault counselling service and Regional Housing Limited.
The caution is, while it is a good source of general information for people in crisis or under extreme stress it is not a "one-stop shop” for all the information required but it will put people on the right track to get the assistance and information needed.
Click here for more information or to access the website visit, and I add a gentle reminder to anyone accessing the website: to avoid detection ensure you clear the browsing history.