Ballina on shortlist for vital domestic violence service
BALLINA is on the shortlist to receive a new service dedicated to directing victims of domestic violence to the help they need.
The Baird government's Safer Pathway reforms have already set up pilot coordination points in Tweed Heads, Parramatta, Bankstown and Broken Hill.
North Coast Greens MP Tamara Smith asked the government during parliament if it would open another service in the region.
"Will the minister support an additional local coordination point for the North Coast Richmond local area command given it has the ninth highest number of incidents of domestic violence in the state?"
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said Ballina was already among the likely candidates for the program's expansion.
"As we roll out Safer Pathway across the state we will continue to test and refine the model to suit the needs of each community, including Ballina," she said.
Ms Goward added the program meant victims no longer had to re-tell their story to a multitude of government agencies, one after another.
She said it was a one-stop shop for all victims to be referred to the right places to get help.
"Victims are proactively offered support at a time when they are most vulnerable, in the immediate aftermath of an incident, when they often have trouble reaching out," she said.
"They are also given much-needed assistance in the critical period before they first go to court, being prepared for what they will experience in a sometimes daunting and traumatic legal system." -APN NEWSDESK