Specialist regional family and domestic violence organisation DVassist will further extend its support services across the South West from this month.
The expansion means more people living in local communities now have access to a family and domestic violence telephone helpline and webchat staffed by qualified counsellors with experience in regional, rural, and remote communities.
DVassist's expansion is timely following a WA Auditor General's report into the impact of COVID-19 showing rates of family assault and threatening behaviour are 24 percent higher than the three-year average prior to the pandemic.
The extension of the service takes in four additional shires across the South West and has been funded by the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation which supports organisations who give back to the local community.
DVassist Chief Executive Officer, Greg Hebble said the organisation's goal was expand their footprint across the entirety of regional Western Australia.
"We are extraordinarily grateful that Stan Perron Charitable Foundation has recognised the critical need to support towns where people can be socially isolated, physically distant from services and live in fear of stigma or retribution," said Mr Hebble.
Mr Hebble said as a virtual service DVassist could provide confidential and anonymous help support people living in the South West without compromising safety or privacy.
"Whether it's you or someone you love who's experiencing family or domestic violence, we can talk to you no matter where you are or what you are doing."
DVassist's helpline and web chat is available Monday to Friday, seven days a week, 7am to midnight.
Free-call 1800 080 083 or visit dvassist.org.au
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