Among the frightening repercussions of the drought is that domestic violence may see a spike in victims in rural and regional Australia.
NSW has already seen a significant rise in domestic violence in recent years.
Recent studies following the Black Saturday Fires in Victoria, Canterbury earth quake in New Zealand and Hurricane Katrina in the US show domestic violence rises during times of stress. (Dr Debra Parkinson, Monash University).
Belinda Kotris, Chief Executive Officer, Tamworth Family Support Service says rural and regional NSW has a significantly higher rate of domestic violence than metropolitan areas.
“We know there is a higher incidence of domestic violence in rural and regional NSW. Across the Oxley Police District we are contacted by an average of 175 women a month after a domestic violence incident has been reported to Police.
“We also know that as stressful times develop there is added pressure on families that can result in domestic violence. It’s another area we need to be aware and ensure we offer support and help to families experiencing stressful situations,’ she said.
At the end of last year Tamworth Family Support Service ran a pilot program designed to help women remain in their homes while removing themselves from violent situations.
The pilot program was funded by a philanthropist and was a one-off, however was extraordinarily successful.
“The program had a 100 percent attendance rate and all participants we able to maintain their independence from violent situations.
“This program was different to others we facilitate as it offered 12 clients group sessions where they had the support of others in similar circumstances.
“It also offered unique one-on-one psychological counselling where clients were offered therapy in a private and caring setting.
“This individual counselling helped clients to understand why the pattern of domestic violence is evident in their lives.
“Early results indicate that this program is extremely successful. To continue with another of these programs we do need alternative funding – so we are delighted that the Pedal the Peel Cycling Challenge will be supporting us,” Ms Kotris said.
Pedal the Peel Cycling Challenge is a project of Rotary clubs of Tamworth First Light and Sunrise. All proceeds from the event are directed to local charities.
Sunday April 7 2019 will see cycling enthusiasts and trail runners fight it out for competitors with two well recognised Tamworth events clashing dates.
The Pedal the Peel Cycling Challenge is open to anyone from 12 to 112 and offers an escorted 15km course, 25 km, 45 and 100km course.
Terry Robinson, Pedal the Peel Cycling Challenge organiser says the event is expected to raise more than $30,000 for the local community.
“Charity dollars are made through the generous donations of local businesses such as Everingham Solomons, Forsyths, Woodley’s and the Northern Daily Leader.
“It’s fantastic to see our community benefit from the generosity of local business. This support is why Tamworth is such a great place to live, we’re encouraging everyone to get involved,’ he said.
Tamworth Family Support Service: Belinda Kotris, CEO: 0428 617 650
Pedal the Peel: Kimberley Squires – 0418 498 558