Centre Against Domestic Abuse CEO Holly Brennan has thanked the community for its support after their account was wiped in Facebook’s rush to block the pages of Australian news sites.
Holly says the centre’s 55 staff were relieved late yesterday when the account was restored, allowing some of Moreton Bay Region’s most vulnerable women to gain crucial access to information in times of crisis.
“People reached out and supported us through other social media – it’s another way to highlight the amazing work we do,” she says.
“We were always open so it’s nice that people rallied around and raised their voices – I think it’s wonderful how strong we are.”
Yesterday, Holly urged other community groups to share information about how to access the service after the Centre Against Domestic Abuse Facebook page was suspended.
She says the suspension of the organisation’s page left hundreds of women across the region vulnerable.
“It’s shockingly devastating,” Holly says.
“Freedom of information is so central to women getting help and to have this happen to a small group that relies on Facebook – it’s our biggest form of advertising and connecting.”
Holly says 35 percent of women in the Moreton Bay Region experience domestic abuse, and access to support services is crucial.
“You don’t carry around a phone number for a domestic violence service – if you did, you’d put yourself at risk – so being able to find it through Facebook is very important.”
Holly says Facebook’s actions could not have come at a worse time, with the incidence of domestic abuse rising since the onset of COVID-19, the anniversary of the death of Hannah Clarke and her children, and the weekend looming.
“It’s also been Valentine’s Day and we are really busy with those people we would consider high risk.
“During COVID we’ve already been dealing with more violence than we can handle.”
Holly says CADA, which has centres at Redcliffe, Pine Rivers and Caboolture, deals with hundreds of women across the region every week and it takes many who are seeking help for domestic abuse weeks – or even months – to work up the courage to search for a service and Facebook’s actions placed them at risk.
“If they try and it’s not there, how long is it going to take to reach out again?”
Connect with CADA here or phone 5498 9533.
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