News

Christmas is a time for peace on Earth... and at home

Thinkstock

CHRISTMAS is a season of joy for most families, but for some, it can be dangerous.

This time of year sees a spike in domestic violence.

"When families come together around this time of year, we notice an increase in domestic violence incidents," Edon Place service director Lyne Booth said.

"It can also be related to alcohol or drug use, and it is a time of year when a lot of money's being spent - there could be financial problems within the family and that can escalate this behaviour."

One in six Australian women have experienced violence at the hands of a partner or ex-partner and 79 women have been killed in such circumstances this year.

Women are three to four times more likely to be the victim of domestic violence than men.

"It is important to stay safe," Ms Booth said.

"Make sure you and your children have somewhere to go if you need to."

If you are concerned for a friend or family member, Ms Booth said, "Call us. Anyone is able to call our service and seek advice.

"If they're calling on behalf of someone else, the next step is to get that person to ring us.

"We make an appointment with them to see one of the case workers to have a chat with them to see how we can assist them.

"They have to want to do it. That can be the hard part."

Many victims stay with their abusers to keep their families together, Ms Booth said, and try to minimise what is going on - especially when offenders say they are sorry and promise to change.

"In general terms, if it happens once it will continue to happen, until you break that cycle," Ms Booth said.

Edon Place has six units housing domestic violence victims and their families.

"We provide them with everything because most of them come with nothing," Ms Booth said.

This includes toiletries, food and shelter, and essentials like linen and towels. From there, residents can be referred to counselling or other assistance such as housing.

Staff at Edon Place responded to 510 requests for information in the financial year for 2014/15, and assisted 254 women in obtaining or maintaining Domestic Violence Protection Orders at courts in Bundaberg, Childers and Gayndah - numbers that have risen from last year.

In a positive twist, along with the spike in violence, EDON Place receives a jump in donations from the community at Christmas, and this year has seen more generosity than ever.

"This year it's been unbelievable," Ms Booth said. "Individual people ring us up but also organisations, clubs and businesses. We've had soft drinks donated from Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, we've had hampers donated from an accounting firm.

"We've been able to supply all the mums at our centre with toys - presents for the children - and also gifts that the children can give the mums.

"It's just been wonderful.

"As we know, domestic and family violence is out there. People are talking about it more, people are recognizing that it's in our community - and they want to stop it.

"They're supporting the women because it's the women who have to leave home - and it shouldn't be that way. We just want to say thank you."

The Federal Government pledged $100 million in funding towards domestic violence services this year and Ms Booth said EDON Place hopes to see some of the money next year.

"2016 is going to see some great changes take place - hopefully we will have more good news next year."

Topics:  domestic violence, edon place




Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa