HELP: Minister Shannon Fentiman met with mayor Tyson Golder and several  NGOs  to discuss a new  shelter.
HELP: Minister Shannon Fentiman met with mayor Tyson Golder and several NGOs to discuss a new shelter. Tom Gillespie

New Roma crisis shelter will have full-time DV specialists

ROMA’S new domestic violence crisis shelter will have professionals who specialise in domestic violence and trauma on-site.

For the first time since the 1980s, victims of domestic violence will be able to seek shelter in south-west Queensland.

The announcement from the State Government of a new $5.04 million shelter to be based in Roma was this week followed by a consultancy meeting with many of the government and non-government organisations in south-west Queensland.

DFV Prevention Minister Shannon Fentiman, who flew out to Roma for the meeting, said she wanted to work with the NGOs to design the facility so it would suit the communities it wanted to help.

This included the staffing of full-time professionals who specialise in domestic violence and the trauma associated with it.

“We contract out to our non-government partners for these shelters and we’ll make sure as part of the tender process that there are specialist domestic violence counsellors who can deal with trauma and who can provide support to children,” Ms Fentiman said before Tuesday’s meeting.

“We knew there were huge gaps in the south-west and after looking at DVO applications in the area, breaches of DVOs and police data, we’ve identified Roma as the best place to help women and children escaping from violence.

“But also the surrounding towns like Charleville, Cunnamulla and St George will be able to access the service, so that’s what we’ll be talking about today, to see if we can’t network with those communities.”

Previously, victims of family violence had routinely been sent as far as Ipswich to find crisis accommodation, which often took several days to organise.

The Roma shelter will be the first of its kind for western Queensland in more than 20 years.

It will be the Palaszczuk government’s fourth emergency accommodation shelter to assist women and children fleeing domestic and family violence in Queensland, and the second to be located in a rural area, behind Charters Towers.

“When women make the brave decision to leave a violent relationship, we must ensure we have the support and services there to help – and regional Queensland is no exception,” Ms Fentiman said.

WHAT do you think about the proposal? Let us know by emailing editorial@ westernstarnews.com.


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