Day of Relationships workshop – free – see flyer for details
Aged care residents at IRT Moruya have built and decorated a cubby house with materials donated by Bunnings Batemans Bay and generously donated the finished product to SEWACS Eurobodalla Domestic and Family Violence Service.
Open the link below for the full story.
It was pleasing to hold our Annual General Meeting face to face with our members in October, with a few faces online as well. It was a big year for SEWACS, as can be seen in the Annual Report.
‘Navigate the maze’: Life hack course in adulting launched
HOW TO ADULT: South East Women and Children’s Services’ Kylie Furnell with Wellways Karen Wright and Sapphire Community Pantry’s Christine Welsh and Peter Buggy in Bega on Wednesday. Picture: Alasdair McDonald
Bega District News article:
Elise was a young Bega Valley woman expecting her first child. A few months into the pregnancy her partner’s behaviour began to become violent. At first she thought the abusive behaviour of her partner would end, but the abuse continued.
She was torn between staying in the hope that things would change and having nowhere to go. She was also thinking of the future of her unborn child.
“I didn’t want to be alone, I wanted my child to have a happy family with both parents,” Elise said.
“The prospect of leaving was the hardest part. I didn’t want to come to terms with it. But the violence was escalating and I was receiving serious threats. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. It’s a small community and I didn’t want people to know.”
Elise’s story is just one of Bega Valley’s domestic violence cases. According to the Bureau of Crime and Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) there were 106 cases of domestic violence reported in the Bega Valley in 2018.
South East Women and Children’s Services (SEWACS) are currently case managing 38 cases of domestic violence. According to Bega’s Staying at Home Leaving Family Violence case worker Caroline Long there is still a long list of people waiting to receive calls.
But according to the experts working in the domestic violence area police statistics do not cover the reality of numbers of people affected by family and domestic violence.
“Most of the statistics we have are police statistics and they are just the reported cases,” Domestic Violence NSW CEO Moo Baulch said.
“Hospitalisation is normally when police get involved and the situation can be way down the track as far as abuse is involved. A lot of abuse is hidden.
“It is common to try to resolve domestic violence issues behind closed doors. This is the way we have spoken about domestic violence; it was always private, hidden family business. There can be some real barriers to seeking support for family violence.”
Feeling ashamed, breaking up families and isolation are just a few of the barriers women face. In rural and regional areas like Bega those hurdles can be doubly challenging.
“Woman are faced with a lack of public transport. If they don’t have a car or a licence or live remotely, how can they flee?” Ms Long said.
“There can be situations of reactive fleeing and women don’t have a licence but they need to leave. They could be stuck out on rural properties where there is access to guns. But because of circumstances it’s easier to stay.”
The Staying Home Leaving Violence program aims to prevent women and their children becoming homeless or having to move away from their support system.
Elise said if she didn’t find the support of SEWACS she would have most likely returned to the abusive situation.
“I couldn’t return home, but I was living out of my car. It wasn’t easy. I don’t know about other people’s cases but I imagine many women return or stay because they don’t know about the resources or are ashamed to get help.”
“I was basically homeless and pregnant – what I don’t understand is why I had to leave my family home because of his actions,” she said.
1800 RESPECT ( 1800 737 732)
24 hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
Men’s Referral Service
1300 766 491
This service from No to Violence offers assistance, information and counselling to help men who use family violence.
A Public Forum to raise awareness of the issue of violence against women will be held on Wednesday 23 November 2016 from 12.30pm at Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre.
The Forum will include presentations from Council’s Brighter Futures, South East Women and Children’s Service (SEWACS) and the Staying Home Leaving Violence Programs.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence you can ring the Domestic Violence Line for help on 1800 656 463 (TTY 1800 671 442) 24 hours, seven days a week.
Monday 21 November 2016
50 Parker Street, Bega, NSW 2550
SEWACS Main Office
02 6492 2088
Staying Home Leaving Violence
02 6492 6239
South East Youth Accommodation Services
02 6492 2223
Eurobodalla Domestic and Family Violence Program
02 4474 3226