MEDIA RELEASE 6 July, 2023
TASC awarded $149,967 to help combat domestic violence on Western Downs
The Western Downs will be the focus for a new pilot project aimed at breaking the cycle of domestic violence.
TASC National, a legal and social justice centre which offers legal and advocacy services across southwest Queensland has been awarded $149,967 from the QLD Government to design, develop and implement the innovative program.
TASC CEO, Frances Klaassen OAM said they will initially work with mothers.
“The statistics around intimate partner violence are alarming,” she said.
“Nationally, more than one in three women over 18 have been subjected to violence or abuse in their relationships during their lifetime.”
A woman’s childbearing period has been identified as high-risk for domestic violence, with 22% of women who are pregnant being subjected to intimate partner violence.
“Of these women, for a quarter of them the first time they encounter violence in the relationship is during pregnancy,” Ms Klaassen said.
“What we’ve seen and what the research shows is that violence during and after pregnancy is not only an appalling denial of human rights, it also has a lasting, damaging impact across the entire community.”
TASC aims to break this cycle through an intervention and educational approach based on research showing the impact violence has on parent-child attachment and how that negatively affects children throughout their lives.
Fractured attachments impact the way children grow up to see themselves and the world around them. Unfortunately, it carries into adolescence, impacting their early partner relationships, resulting in adults who may repeat the patterns they grew up with.
The pilot program will focus on increasing the agency of women who are of childbearing age.
“Society in general has tended to devalue the impact and work of mothers and caregivers, which in turn leads to increased vulnerability for those women when it comes to gender based violence,” Ms Klaassen said.
“We will combat this by increasing the agency and connectedness of women through group work, community connection and demonstrating the importance and impact of the mother – child relationship across a person’s life.”
This is a new approach to domestic violence and program design is still underway, with rollout expected in early 2024.
“Our goal is to work with women, families and communities to help heal some of the trauma behind the violence and bring lasting change. While the initial focus will be on women and their supports, we will also build an education program for men we hope to roll out in the area.”
While this will be preventative program, through their existing legal and social justice connections TASC is also able to refer women currently experiencing violence to legal and support services.