Facebook temporarily removes regional domestic violence service

DVassist still available despite Facebook ban

South West residents impacted by domestic and family violence can still access the online resource DVassist.

The service had its Facebook page blocked when the social media network shut down Australian news sites on February 18.

The service has now been able to start using the page again with it back up and running on Monday February 22.

The ban was a worry for the service who knew many people accessed DVassist via social media.

DVassist is using a variety of ways to ensure its service is promoted to the people that need it the most.

Over recent months, the organisation has run a television advertising campaign across regional Western Australia, and advertised in rural publications and on billboards.

Client Services Manager Inez Carey, regularly visits each of the areas serviced by DVassist, meeting with local councils, community groups and service providers to promote DVassist's work in the family and domestic violence sector.

DVassist has also developed a series of flyers which have been distributed to referral and information points such as GPs and financial councillors, to ensure that they can provide information to people experiencing family and domestic violence if they are aware that it is occurring.

DVassist executive officer Esther Schwald said blocking DVassist's Facebook page shows there was still a long way to go when it comes to awareness and education of family and domestic violence.

"Social media is a critically important tool in promoting our telephone counselling service to people in regional WA," she said.

"It is unfathomable that a dedicated service for people in rural and remote areas could be caught up in this media site storm."

Esther said the organisation has reached out to Facebook to request the DVassist page be restored urgently. DVassist can be contacted on free-call 1800 080 083.

This story DVassist still available despite Facebook ban first appeared on Bunbury Mail.