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Insights from the frontline of domestic and family violence services show no-one is immune.
Urgent action in April 2020 to support domestic and family violence victims has included $5.5 million extra in funding from the Queensland Government to help manage an anticipated increase in demand for services arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.1
Despite anticipated increased risk in domestic and family violence due to social isolating and potential financial and social stresses, DVConnect team member Elyce explains domestic violence can impact anyone at any time, no matter their background, education or social class.
For Elyce, a typical day means monitoring inbound calls constantly. These range from counselling and support calls where people are looking purely for advice and information, through to the crisis calls where people are feeling unsafe and need support to get them access to a safe place.
"Anyone can be a perpetrator," she says.
“Bring financial abuse into the open.”
Family violence campaigner and 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty explains to QSuper the ways in which finances can be used as a form of domestic abuse.
Elyce is grateful to the many people in the community who provide donations. And while money is welcome, there are many other ways to help.
Nappies are a good example of a very welcome donation," she says. "Also blankets, clothing and other practical items to make things a little more comfortable for women and children who are leaving their homes to live temporarily in motels or refuges. These types of items are really important to help with the transition for these families."
Elyce is adamant that reducing the levels of domestic and family violence needs to start with education from a young age.
"It’s so important to educate both boys and girls about what is a healthy relationship, and to really break down what that means," she says.
"I think particularly targeting children who have been a part of family violence is important, because we know it can be inter-generational. We’ve had many women who have called us when their 12-year-old, for example, is modelling the behaviour of the perpetrator who may be their father.”
“Tackling violence against women top priority”
Queensland’s State Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Di Farmer, tells QSuper tackling the horrific issue of domestic violence remains the top priority to advance gender equality.
QSuper is proud to have a partnership with domestic violence hotline, DVConnect. The not-for- profit is Queensland’s leading crisis response service to domestic violence and the partnership provides funding to employ an additional full-time telephone support officer.
Call 1800 811 811
1. Media release, Queensland Government, 8 April 2020, $5.5 million to boost domestic violence services during COVID-19 pandemic, at www.statements,qld.gov.au
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