John Gomez

Frontline staff need funds to fight domestic violence

MORE funding for frontline staff is vital in the war on domestic violence.

One of the country's leading family violence experts says the State and Federal governments must boost money for those at the coalface of the epidemic.

Nationally, domestic violence has claimed 38 lives since the start of the year.

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research director Annabel Taylor said domestic violence workers were under extreme pressure.

"This is incredibly difficult work and the issue of vicarious trauma suffered by first responders and support workers is very much real," the CQUniversity associate professor said.

"In Queensland, changes to funding agreements in the past three years have really had an effect in terms of how many services are available, and it's the frontline workers who are trying to pick up the slack, and keep meeting growing needs."

READ MORE FROM OUR CAMPAIGN AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Dr Taylor urged the NSW, Queensland and Federal governments to give support staff a stronger voice in the war on domestic terrorism.

"The various taskforces and reviews tend focus on victims and perpetrators, but a key part of this story is the frontline workers and their capacity and capability," she said.

"There are major issues around resources to support recruitment and retention in domestic and family violence services, and the degree to which smaller organisations are able to support their staff is often limited."

"So obviously, more targeted funding is key - and as well as boosting staff numbers in the frontline, training and support for those staff really needs to be prioritised, so they can develop and sustain their coping mechanisms and resilience in the battle to keep victims safe."

APN Regional Media's Terror at Home campaign, published in this newspaper and 11 other regional daily newspapers, is shining a light on domestic violence.

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