VALLEY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Alarming Spike in Marian Assaults

Article excerpt

Byline: Melissa Grant melissa.grant@dailymercury.com.au

DOMESTIC violence cases have exploded in Marian as many young families in the town experience financial stress and difficulty getting support services.

Marian police sergeant and officer-in-charge Bill Feldman said police attended an average of one domestic violence case a month about a year ago, but that had blown out to at least one a week over the past six months.

Homes in Marian are more affordable than in Mackay, so many families have moved there to get into the property market. However, Sgt Feldman said the high number of new houses owned by young families had led to an increase in domestic violence as many found themselves under financial stress.

Domestic violence is a spiralling trend throughout the region, with Mackay police dealing with an average of four incidents daily last year. They're concerned many cases are flying under the radar.

Regional Social Development Centre (RSDC) business development co-ordinator Deb Rae said the lack of support services for Marian families going through domestic violence issues was also a factor.

C[pounds sterling]I also think part of it is that there aren't any services in that area. Domestic violence and other support services are in Mackay,C[yen] Ms Rae said.

C[pounds sterling]At a time of crisis that can be very difficult.

C[pounds sterling]We have a lot more people out there (Marian), lots more families out there but not the services.C[yen]

Ms Rae said Marian lacked support services for both women and men, recreational services, childcare services and other services for workers to access on their days off. She said although there were services in Mackay, many people who lived in the Pioneer Valley weren't eligible or couldn't get to them. …