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Spotlight on community services


Domestic violence and suicide prevention were the topics of a forum attended by about 60 people at the Glenelg Branch of the Catholic Women’s League.

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Deidre Flynn, from Catherine House, spoke about the growing need for homeless services for women as a result of domestic violence while Debra Spizzo, senior lawyer with the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service said in her previous career as a nurse she had seen shocking injuries inflicted on women.

She said the Victim Support Service helped women navigate legal matters regarding intervention orders and tenancy disputes. Lawyers provided legal advice and represented women who needed to apply for a private intervention order, vary a confirmed order or terminate a tenancy agreement.

Adam McCulloch from the Murray Bridge Suicide Prevention Clinic said the suicide rate was higher than the road toll and the highest rate of suicide was among men over the age of 60 years.

He told members of the audience to make sure they asked friends and family members if they were okay – but not in a superficial way. “Ask how their day was, what they have been doing, how their relationships are going,” he said.

When attending an Adelaide Catholic school, his best friend had committed suicide and no-one had really talked about it because of the stigma attached to mental illness.

He said he had become involved in suicide prevention through a church group and then the Suicide Prevention group in Murray Bridge.

Kate Pittolo from the Glenelg CWL said that the group greatly valued the important work done by Catherine House and the other organisations who support women trying to escape domestic violence. She was also very excited to learn of the new free state-wide Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service which will help women quickly to obtain Intervention Orders to protect themselves and their children.



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