Western Sydney has been identified as a domestic violence ‘hot spot’ by the Federal Government and Catholic organisations are working hard to provide families with support and access to relevant services.
The Catholic Women’s League Australia held their 2015 bi-annual National Conference in Parramatta and devoted a significant amount of their motion for the ‘Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence’ motion has been achieved.
Carolyn Metcalfe was the President of the Catholic Women’s League in 2014 and 2015.
“Domestic violence is something that we have to be constantly aware of. For all intents and purposes everything looks fine and inside the home it’s another thing altogether,” she said to Catholic Outlook.
“We need to be aware and on the alert for it,” she said.
The motion sought to lobby the Federal Government to allocate more funding and support to “programs and initiatives that aim to eradicate the existence of domestic and family violence”.
The first initiative the motion advocated was a “national advertising campaign, aiming to combat domestic and family violence against women”.
The Federal Government’s national program has achieved much of what the advocated motion suggested, in a $100 million package to stop domestic violence. The national advertising campaign has been viewed 32.3 million times, according to the Daily Telegraph’s report on September 26: “Domestic violence: Six Western Sydney suburbs identified as ‘hot spots’”.
The Daily Telegraph report revealed that six Western Sydney suburbs are domestic violence “hot spots”’, in a national action plan of the Federal Government. Four of these areas are in the Diocese of Parramatta: Mount Druitt, Parramatta, Blacktown and Penrith.
The Catholic Women’s League motion also advocated changing attitudes of perpetrators, ongoing education about the issue and support for victims.
The San Miguel Family Centre is part of YourTown in North Richmond and provides support to families in need of temporary accommodation. In addition, the Centre provides access to legal and medical support, education for school aged children and personalised case managers. For more information visit: www.yourtown.com.au
CatholicCare Social Services is the social services arm of the Diocese of Parramatta and provides Relationships and Family Counselling to couples who have experienced difficult circumstances or events that impact their relationships with others. Catholic Care Social Services’ ‘Houses to Homes’ and ‘Project Elizabeth’ programs can assist women 16 – 25 years of age, who are pregnant or caring for children in the Blacktown and Hills council areas with accommodation, support and counselling. For more information visit: www.ccss.org.au.
The St Vincent de Paul Society also provides a range of services, including shelters. Holy Family Parish, Emerton is connected to St Mary’s Parish, North Sydney, which supports ‘Mary’s House’, a shelter for female victims of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Line 1800 RESPECT (1800 65 64 63) 24/7
San Miguel Family Centre 02 4579 6622
CatholicCare Social Services 02 8822 2222
St Vincent de Paul Family Assistance Hotline 1800 606 724
Mary’s House firstname.lastname@example.org