The Western Downs Regional Council continues to support victims of domestic violence

Western Downs Regional Council has facilitated the donation of its refurbished old mobile phones to help victims of domestic abuse get the help they need.

DV Safe Phones and WESNET are charities that collect, reuse and donate mobile phones to victims of domestic violence, with Dalby Police Station accepting Council phones that have been prepared for distribution.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the council was honored to donate to an initiative that supports those in need.

“The Western Downs region is not a place of domestic and family violence, but unfortunately our community is not immune to the challenges of this serious social issue,” Mr McVeigh said.

“One of the things the Council can do is make sure the community knows that this campaign is available to support them.

“We take creating a safe community for our residents very seriously and ensuring they have the means to reconnect with friends, family and essential support services.

“Not only are we giving these people a voice, but we are also working towards a sustainable future in which a very valuable tool is reused and used.”

Domestic and Family Violence Co-ordinator and Dalby Police Sergeant Anne Johnston said she has witnessed first-hand the state victims are in, who are quite often without phones and without a way to reach out and get help.

“For the average person, a cell phone is an everyday device, but for someone experiencing domestic violence, a phone can be a lifesaver,” Sergeant Johnston said.

Senior Constable Vanessa Firman of Dalby Police Station said it was amazing to see the Western Downs Regional Council’s support for this program and their significant contribution to the cause.

“Dalby Police Station is happy to support DV Safe Phone and we hope this will encourage the community to contribute as well, by donating their unused phone to the station.” said Senior Constable Firman.

The collaboration with DV Safe Phones and WESNET is just another initiative of the Council to offer support to victims of domestic violence.

Last year Council partnered with Dalby Police Station to deliver a brightly painted bench which was placed outside Dalby Courthouse as part of the ‘Red Bench’ initiative of the Red Rose Foundation which draws attention to domestic and family violence. More “red benches” will be installed throughout the region in the near future.

The Council also offers a number of online and print resources for the community which are accessible through Western Downs Libraries. The resources have been recommended by healthcare professionals and organizations directly involved in healthcare and cover topics that may help people experiencing domestic violence.

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Elna M. Lemons