THE shadow minister for domestic violence was blown away by the lack of leadership in Tamworth when it came to making a stand for local victims.
Jenny Aitchison met with a handful of support services in Tamworth on Monday and like many other areas of regional NSW she’s visited they were largely under-resourced, but one issue was confounding and unique to the city.
“It’s like there’s a sense of shame in addressing it and they’ve said it was getting councillors and business leaders to show support,” Ms Aitchison said.
“This signalling makes a difference.
She said every civic leader had a responsibility to show support for victims and local services and it shouldn’t be a political issue.
She said some services felt like they were being branded “feminists just hating men” in their campaigns to address the region’s violence statistics.
Tamworth Family Support Service domestic violence team leader Lynda Townsend said it needed to be higher on the agenda of all levels of government.
Ms Townsend said funding was needed to address the “sheer volume” of support being offered and highlighted a growing issue in smaller regional towns.
“The programs on offer in Tamworth are just as vital in smaller communities but not offered,” she said.
“For instance, ‘staying home, leaving violence’ is not funded to Gunnedah, the Liverpool Plains or Armidale.
“Or if there is an incident in Boggabri and the women needs to get safe accommodation, the closed accommodation is in Narrabri or Tamworth.”