Safe In Our Town aims to bring Glen Innes together to battle domestic violence

Glen Innes has among the highest domestic violence rates in the state, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

BREAKING BARRIERS: Community development worker Laurie Newsome, Safe In Our Town social work student Jim Kuiwah and family youth support worker Dannielle Lightfoot at the centre this week. Photo: Rachel Baxter

BREAKING BARRIERS: Community development worker Laurie Newsome, Safe In Our Town social work student Jim Kuiwah and family youth support worker Dannielle Lightfoot at the centre this week. Photo: Rachel Baxter

To combat the staggering figures, a group of locals have teamed up to bring more information to Glen Innes about domestic violence, and how to seek help. 

The program is called Safe in Our Town.

Around $140,000 worth of funding from the Department of Social Services helped kick off the initiative last year, and it operates out of the Glen Innes Family and Youth Support Service centre.

“Glen Innes was selected [for funding] because we are a rural community,” family youth support worker Dannielle Lightfoot said.

“We’ve also got Wytaliba, the correctional centre, an Indigenous population and we have a high rate of domestic violence in our community.

“Through the Safe in Our Town committee, we’ve researched what needed to be done.”

Ms Lightfoot conducted surveys to find out how much is known about the issue within the community.

“We decided there’s not much information around so we’ve developed stickers which we have put out on backs of toilet doors and in shop windows and little cards with local and national information,” she said.

Community development worker Laurie Newsome said the team were also currently working on a crowdfunding project. 

They are hoping to raise $1,600 by August with most of the money going towards reading and information resources for the Glen Innes Library.

“Domestic and family violence is a difficult subject to talk about, so having information about it in the library for people in our community to access is an important step in tackling this issue,” he said.

Some of the funds will also go towards purchasing car stickers which promote support for victims.

Domestic and family violence is a difficult subject to talk about.

Laurie Newsome

“The more information that is available to provide access to support for people who are experiencing this issue, the better,” he said.

Mr Newsome said the Safe in Our Town crowdfunding page, which was recently launched, was already receiving pledges.

The crowdfunding link can be found on the Safe in Our Town Facebook page – or call the Family and Youth Support Service on 6732 3073 for more information.

CROWDFUNDING LAUNCH: Members of the Safe in Our Town network at the recent launch of the crowdfunding webpage.

CROWDFUNDING LAUNCH: Members of the Safe in Our Town network at the recent launch of the crowdfunding webpage.