Shocking data shows 20 a fortnight apply for DV order

A SUNSHINE Coast organisation which helps women desperate to escape violent relationships has revealed as many as 20 women are visiting Gympie Magistrates Court every fortnight to place orders against their partners.

Centacare's Scope domestic and family violence support service, has told how between women walking into their Maroochydore office, police referrals and phone calls for help, staff are constantly busy with women looking for somewhere to turn for safety.

Through either their own actions or by referral from police, up to 30 women a week attend the Maroochydore courthouse and as many as 20 each at Gympie and Noosa courts each fortnight are placing a domestic violence order.

The alarming reality, which is often unspoken, comes after member for Caloundra Mark McArdle called upon the community to provide their feedback and stories to a special Queensland taskforce on domestic and family violence.

The taskforce was recently announced to examine the issue of domestic violence in Queensland.

In the 12 months to May 2014, Centacare Scope domestic and family violence supported 2227 women in the domestic violence court throughout the region.

"Here on the Sunshine Coast for every 100,000 people there were 353 domestic violence applications in 2013 alone," Mr McArdle said.

"More needs to be done to protect and support victims of domestic abuse."

Centacare Scope domestic violence services team leader Karen Marsh encouraged those who feel comfortable to put forward their feedback to the taskforce for the betterment of women's and children's safety.

"If statistics show that one woman dies each week of domestic violence, this is a crisis," she said. "If one person died a week as a result of a shark attack, there would be a public outcry."

For more help phone DV Connect on 1800 811 811, Centacare Scope Family and Domestic Violence 5430 9300 or Mensline on 1300 789 978.

To participate in the survey, go to http://www.qld.gov.au/dfvtaskforce.

Gympie Times

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