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Bundaberg Solicitor Recognised For Work On DV Prevention

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Bundaberg Solicitor Edwina Rowan is one of 20 Queensland women to be recognised for excelling in their chosen field and working to make the Sunshine State a better place by addressing gender inequality.

She said what is exciting about the State Government award is that it is really about the promotion of womenand especially in regional Queensland.  

Ms Rowan works on cases involving Domestic and Family Violence.  She has been the President of the Edon Place Domestic and Family Violence Support Service in Bundaberg for a number of years, "so I've worked quite closely with that service both at a Board level and now as a President for a number of years".

"One of the flagships of that service that we have introduced in the last couple of years is the 'Men's Behavioural Change Program' so it's quite an exciting space because we're really leading the way in this area in terms of perpetrator programs, behavioural change programs; which is working in a holistic way to address Domestic and Family Violence in the home.

"What's important is that we're looking at the family as a whole, so we're addressing counselling services for women and children as well, in addition to other wrap around services, including crisis accommodation, court support and other referral networks.

In Bundaberg, Ms Rowan said they are seeing a good response to the 'Men's Behavioural Change Program'. She explained that there are a number of referring agencies including the courts and the probation and parole officers and a number of counselling services.

"We're finding that this is a really key factor in dealing with addressing a change in behaviour, so rather than addressing behaviour at one end, we're actually addressing the issues that are in the home and trying to cut those issues off at the pass.

"Unfortunately though, the statistics across Queensland are very poor and at the moment the statistics are telling us that in 2018 there were three breaches of Domestic Violence Orders every hour in Queensland.

"Whilst I don't necessarily want to put a price on what Domestic Violence costs, we look at those breaches of Domestic Violence Orders, it's actually costing Queenslanders $1,700 per matter which is prosecuted through the Courts.

"So it should be a really critical issue for every person in Queensland to be looking at to work out how we can actually start tackling these matters in a different way" Ms Rowan said.

That $1,700 takes into account the Police response to the breach and then the matter moving through the Court system.