Regional SA to receive domestic violence facilities

The State Government has pledged $9 million to increasing domestic violence services, including two $2.5 million domestic violence facilities in regional South Australia.

“The Marshall Liberal Government will deliver improved domestic violence services in country South Australia, that will include a $2.5 million investment in crisis accommodation facilities,” the Minister for Human Services, The Hon. Michelle Lensink, said.

“Following a successful roundtable on domestic violence in Adelaide similar forums will be held in regional South Australia, including the South East.

“These forums will help inform where the two ten room crisis facilities are to be established in regional South Australia.”

The Naracoorte Soroptimist branch supports a facility being based in the South East, particularly in Naracoorte.

Speaking with the Naracoorte Soroptimist branch, domestic violence – which includes emotional and mental as well as physical – is prevalent in the South East, and having most domestic violence services based in Mount Gambier can be problematic.

Unlike Naracoorte, which is a relatively central town within the region, Mount Gambier is far to the south, which means a long car ride (if the victim can even access a car). 

But even some domestic violence facilities in the South East are better than none, with the Soroptimists welcoming the State Government’s policies for more services.

As well as a critical increase in domestic violence crisis accommodation, the government is also planning to implement these additional services:

  • Funding to the 24/7 Women’s Safety Service Crisis Hotline;
  • Improving communication and data collection across government and non-government sectors;
  • Developing an app for at-risk individuals so they can be linked directly to SAPOL and/or women’s services;
  • and establishing ‘Safety Hubs’ across the state, which will improve service delivery.

Soroptimist International, a service club dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, works tirelessly to address the problem of domestic violence in communities.

In Naracoorte, the Soroptimists annually hold a White Ribbon breakfast with guest speakers, and have now involved the Lions and Rotary clubs in the event.

The White Ribbon initiative is to have an open dialogue with men and boys about domestic violence.

On May 9 the Soroptimists are also going to be holding a Candlelight Vigil in the Naracoorte Town Square, to pay their respects to the victims of domestic and family violence. 

The purpose of the Candlelight Vigil is to have somber acknowledgement of the issue. It is a moment to reflect, before the Soroptimists and members of the public continue their work to empower individuals, couples, and families against the effects of domestic violence.

The South Australian President of Soroptimist International, Christine Plunkett, (who is based in Mount Gambier), has suggested bringing back a Regional Focus for the service club.

The proposed focus this year is homelessness due to domestic violence.

The Naracoorte branch of Soroptimists also support the project being undertaken in conjunction with the Soroptimist International Federation of the South West Pacific – a women’s shelter in Fiji.

To learn more about the work of the Soroptimists you can contact the organisation on sinaracoorte@siswp.org or 0456 562 521.