Shelter for male victims of domestic violence planned

MEN caught up in domestic violence have nowhere to go in Gladstone.

There is just one women's shelter in Gladstone, no men's shelter and very limited services for men.

But Father Daniel Jayaraj and the Anglican Parish of Gladstone are determined to change that.

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He is about to open a safe house - hopefully, he says, within the next two months - that will provide short-term emergency accommodation, specifically for men.

It is a project Father Daniel and the parish leaders have been working on for two years.

Establishing that service now is more vital than ever.

"People are losing their jobs and can't afford to pay rent," Father Daniel said.

"They are not financially prepared for this downturn in industry and that puts more stress and pressure on the family which can lead to domestic violence.

"I know there is a need for this through my own personal experience."

Last December, a couple came to Father Daniel for help.

The woman was heavily pregnant and their situation at home had become violent.

Despite asking for help, there was no-where for the man to go and the woman had to be removed from the house.

"I don't feel happy about that outcome because she was six or seven months pregnant and should have been able to stay in the comfort of her own home," Father Daniel said.

"If there had been somewhere for him to go, that wouldn't have happened."

He said that wasn't an isolated incident. He believes if men know they have somewhere else to go, they will be more inclined to leave before becoming violent.

Father Daniel has appealed to the community and governments for funding to set up the centre.

But he says he has been turned down every time.

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