Increase in Domestic Violence Services for Douglas Shire


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Douglas Shire Council today adopted an operational model for crisis accommodation to be used to advocate for State and Federal funding.

The proposed refuge in the Douglas Shire would help women and children rebuild their lives after escaping domestic violence.

The proposal was developed in consultation with key community groups and provides key services for people affected by domestic violence.

The document complements the functional brief, which together forms a business case that seeks to address the rising scourge of domestic violence in the region.

According to 2018/19 Queensland Police statistics, 72 domestic violence order applications were made in Mossman and a further 23 applications in Port Douglas during that financial year. 

These orders were contravened 87 times – an increase of more than 14 per cent on the previous 12-month period.

Mayor Leu said victims living in Douglas Shire were helpless.

“The community is fed up. We absolutely need supported accommodation that can offer a stable home environment and break the vicious cycle of domestic and family violence.

“Council has laid the foundations with a functional brief and operational model, now all we need is to get our State and Federal partners on board.”

The desired facility is a cluster of three fully self-contained, co-located three-bedroom units, with administration and resource space either on or off site. 

Case management assistance would be available for tenants accessing appropriate support services, recognising that perpetrators may control victims over an extended period, affecting their autonomy, self-esteem and ability to make daily life decisions.

Douglas Shire has one of the highest rates of domestic and family violence in Queensland. This statistic is compounded by the fact that the most vulnerable women and children are forced to leave Douglas Shire to find a safe haven.

The decision to adopt the proposal coincides with the opening of the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service Douglas Shire Office in Mossman next week.

An official opening for the office will be held on Wednesday, 28 August from 9.30am.

View full proposal document on Council's Website.

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