LENDING A HAND: Darling Downs district officer Superintendent Mark Kelly and Toowoomba Together Inc chairman John Minz shake hands on the group's future plans.
LENDING A HAND: Darling Downs district officer Superintendent Mark Kelly and Toowoomba Together Inc chairman John Minz shake hands on the group's future plans.

New face in battle against violence at home

TOOWOOMBA Together Inc (TTI) is the new face of anti-violence in town.

TTI has grown from the successful Toowoomba Says No to Violence group (TSN2V) and its new format will allow it to do more to fight domestic and family violence through education, events, a one-stop web presence and hopes of a dedicated staff member.

"It was decided at the first Domestic Violence Summit last year that we needed to do more," said chairman John Minz.

"Toowoomba doesn't have any greater domestic violence issue than anywhere else. It's about understanding that we have a problem like everywhere else.

"We need to change the culture, challenge gender behaviours particularly for young people, so there won't be this problem in the future, and at the same time support the women and children who are the victims today."

As an incorporated body, TTI can gain public liability insurance to run events, hold a bank account and apply for grants, which the old TSN2V committee structure could not.

TTI currently has four working parties. The first is dealing with the groups's transition to its new name, including a strong website presence, while continuing to recognise the work and reputation of TSN2V.

The second will deal with events, with four planned for the next 12 months, including the traditional White Ribbon breakfast on November 25 and an event in October to bring together all the existing and potential partners in the fight against domestic and family violence.

"The more community support we have, the more we can do," Mr Minz said.

The third branch is examining funding opportunities and the fourth is the White Ribbon committee, which will this year co-ordinate with White Ribbon Australia to bring the Breaking the Silence program to 15 Toowoomba district schools.

"The more we promote ourselves, the more individual groups and organisations we find out there," Mr Minz said, "There are a lot of pillars of support."

He pointed as an example to Ipswich's Domestic Violence Action Centre's support program for young boys showing violent tendencies as a result of their fathers' behaviour.

"We want to create an online hub to bring all these isolated services together so anyone can find education, programs for perpetrators and supports for victims.

"We want to break that feeling of isolation and let people know there is a community of support.

"The Department of Community Services and police can't do it all. The community has to say 'this is enough!'"

To learn more, contact John Minz at info@toowoombatogether.com.au.


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