Brisbane DV shelter and services helping women live safer lives

Published Monday, 04 July, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Hundreds of women and children fleeing violence and abuse in their homes have been taken in and given a helping hand by the new Brisbane domestic and violence shelter in its first six months of operation.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman and Minister for Police Bill Byrne today visited Micah Projects at its office in South Brisbane to discuss the progress of the new shelter and other local initiatives to address domestic and family violence.

“Tackling domestic and family violence is one of our highest priorities and we are doing everything we can to make sure support is available to victims fleeing this terrible violence,” Ms Fentiman said.

“We know that having somewhere safe and supportive to go can make all the difference to women wanting to leave a dangerous and violent situation.

“That’s why we took swift action to get two new 72-hour crisis shelters up and running in Queensland – one in Brisbane and one in Townsville by the end of last year.

“Together these services have already assisted hundreds of women and children escaping domestic and family violence.

“In its first six months of operation, the Brisbane shelter, which is run by Save the Children, has helped 428 women and children to leave violent and abusive homes and help them start a new and safer life.”

A third domestic and family violence shelter will be established in Charters Towers, as announced in the 2016-17 Budget. A fourth shelter will follow in a rural or remote location yet to be announced, as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s response to the Not Now, Not Ever report.

Police Minister Byrne said Micah Projects was doing an excellent job delivering the Safer Lives domestic and family violence mobile outreach service that supports those women who are living in motels to escape domestic and family violence.

“Women can get the support they need from Safer Lives workers who understand their options, have a friendly face, and can provide choices and options for ongoing assistance – which can include family support, domestic and family violence support, housing support and counselling,” Minister Byrne said.

“While majority of women using the service have been referred by DVConnect, the Queensland Police Service also refer women to this vital service.

“This program has also better-developed the critical relationships with the Queensland Police Service, women’s shelters and the domestic and family violence service system.

“Police work very hard to get consent for the women to talk to Safer Lives, including at the scene of the call-out.”

Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government has provided $1.1 million to Micah Projects to deliver the Safer Lives Mobile Support Service for 12 months, which has helped more than 800 women and 350 children over the last six months.

“This program has helped to increase the safety of women and children and the accountability of perpetrators,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Importantly, the service has also secured an agreement with Centrelink so women in motels due to domestic and family violence can access crisis payments.”

Micah Projects also receives more than $1.7 million to deliver additional domestic and family violence responses, including a perpetrator program.

The Safer Lives Men’s Offender program can take up to 15 participants in each location and currently operates at both Chermside and Inala.

Media Contact:

Minister Fentiman: 0400 774 303

Minister Byrne: 0400 622 433