READY FOR ACTION: Jillian Scott, Marilyn Holness and Kelly Callaghan celebrating RISE project success.
READY FOR ACTION: Jillian Scott, Marilyn Holness and Kelly Callaghan celebrating RISE project success. Patrick Woods

Accommodation for violence victims a reality

UNTIL now, there has been little assistance for those fleeing a domestic violence situation at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast.

While available in northern areas, short-term accommodation is scarce and under extreme demand.

After six years, the Zonta Club of Caloundra, in conjunction with Coast2Bay Housing and the Salvation Army, will change that for good in February when their new accommodation is built in the Caloundra area.

While at first it seemed to be an ambitious target, the "$90,000 in 90 days" campaign was achieved with the support of the greater community.

RISE project chair Marilyn Holness said those needing short-term accommodation may come from a variety or areas, including Caboolture and all the way up to Noosa.

"People will come out of refuges and into our accommodation and will be able to stay there for up to six months," she said.

"The period of time will depend upon the needs of the people.

"Domestic violence victims come from a range of socio-economic backgrounds and some may not take long to get back on their feet."

Queensland Court data shows that between May 1, 2015-July 31, 2016, 578 applications for domestic violence orders were filed in the Caloundra Magistrates Court.

Sonshine Sanctuary coordinator Cindy said there was a great need for extra accommodation on the Sunshine Coast.

"The existing accommodation is not sufficient," she said.

"When a woman is seeking refuge she may need to leave the area that she is in for the safety of her and her children."

Zonta president and clinical psychologist, Kelly Callaghan, said the devastation brought upon children in violent homes had a large impact on their development.

"It impacts upon their ability to learn, makes them highly anxious and vulnerable to further trauma in their life," she said.

"Feeling safe is the foundation stone for learning and personal growth."

The RISE project has now also received funding from the Gambling Benefit Fund which will enable them to complete the internal fit-out of white goods, security screens and furniture.

Anyone seeking help should contact DV Connect on 1800 811 811, Centacare Maroochydore on 5430 9300 or contact the police (000) in a emergency situation.