Better access for DV victims

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph
Gloria Lockyer-Kays has three degrees and is now obtaining her PhD.
Camera IconGloria Lockyer-Kays has three degrees and is now obtaining her PhD. Credit: Sam Jones

Inspirational local domestic violence and sexual abuse councillor, grandmother and PhD candidate Gloria Lockyer-Kays has long been a catalyst for change in the Hedland community.

The Karriyarra and Yindjibarndi woman has worked with Hedland abuse survivors and brought expertise from her three different degrees to make an impact in the lives of local women.

Now, Mrs Lockyer-Kays has called for a unified, centralised approach to address violent crimes in the Pilbara through her PhD study on Multi-disciplinary Centres, an idea introduced across the world that incorporates various facets of domestic violence and sexual abuse treatment into a one-stop shop.

Speaking to the North West Telegraph, Mrs Lockyer-Kays said she first became passionate about helping to tackle domestic violence issues in regional communities when hearing and reading abuse and treatment stories throughout the community.

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“The crime obviously shocked me but more importantly I was shocked at the lack of the capacity within the community to deal with such crimes; there seemed to be an endless stream of cases,” she said.

“Cases I had personally been dealing with revealed the adults who had been assaulted as children were often still dealing with the trauma and health issues today, while the perpetrator continued on their violent path with the next generation.”

In June last year, Mrs Lockyer-Kays was employed as an intern with a placement in the biggest MDC in the nation, Dandenong Victoria, which had 75 employees, from police to health workers to child protection officers.

“I observed the sheer determination of all stakeholders working to minimise family violence and sexual assault crimes, it’s something we need in our communities,” she said.

Mrs Lockyer-Kays intends to send out a survey to all service providers in Hedland to obtain a snapshot of capabilities within the town to deal with sexual assault crimes.

“The snapshot will allow us to look at where we are now, so we can find where we need to go and how we can do it,” Mrs Lockyer-Kays said.

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