Budget boost for support service

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Author Fleur McDonald
Camera IconAuthor Fleur McDonald Credit: Supplied

An online domestic violence support service which started in Albany and Esperance will expand throughout regional WA after it received $2.3 million in the Budget.

Breaking the Silence, the brainchild of Esperance author Fleur McDonald, is a free online directory which provides easy access to support services for anyone trying to escape an abusive situation.

Ms McDonald, who spent many years working in regional WA, said she started the website after identifying the need for support for people in remote areas.

“The window of timing for when people decided to leave an abusive situation is very small,” she said.

“If it’s too difficult for them, they won’t do it .. so the website will make things quick and simple and make it available for them at their fingertips.”

With $2.3 million Federal funding over the next three years, Ms McDonald will extend her services to 10 other regional centres, including the Kimberley, Kalgoorlie and Karratha.

The website will also add a 24/7 online and phone counselling services to remote residents who often need to access these services from the comfort of their own home.

“Our councillors will be someone who either live in the country or grew up in the country,” she said.

“So they will understand the culture and the support network of the region.”

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said the program is aimed at addressing the growing incidence of domestic violence in rural and remote areas.

“It is believed that one in four regional, remote or rural women will suffer some form of domestic abuse within their lifetime and that is totally unacceptable.”

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