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With a post-pandemic surge predicted in the need for domestic and family violence services, QSuper is enhancing its support for DVConnect to help upskill businesses across Queensland to fight domestic and family violence.
DVConnect, Queensland’s leading domestic and family violence (DFV) service is anticipating a surge in demand once COVID-19 restrictions are further relaxed and victims have more opportunity to call for help.
Furthering QSuper’s existing partnership with DVConnect, we are enhancing our support for the organisation to help create new training that upskills organisations on how to recognise, respond and refer employees to a service that can help them if they disclose or show signs of DFV or sexual assault.
DVConnect CEO Beck O’Connor (pictured above with QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi) said the pandemic had created extra challenges for victims and the organisation.
“There are additional challenges associated with the practicalities of assisting women and children to safety, such as decreases in public transport options to and from regional or remote areas, or limitations placed on travel that restricts how and where we can assist women and children to access safety,” she said.
Ms O’Connor said DVConnect, with the support of QSuper since 2016, was continuing to assist victims of family and domestic violence.
“We are working hard to ensure that these barriers identified have as minimal impact as possible on women’s experiences when their safety from violence is the primary concern,” she said.
The DVConnect not-for-profit domestic violence hotline is Queensland’s leading crisis response service to domestic violence.
QSuper has supported DVConnect in a partnership since 2016 that delivers funding to employ an additional full-time telephone crisis counsellor.
The extra counsellor means about an extra 4,000 calls per year can be answered from Queensland victims.
In 2019, QSuper extended the partnership for another three years.
QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said QSuper’s support wasn’t just about providing funding that could help deal with more calls for help and potentially save more lives, but educating customers and employees about the prevalence of domestic violence and what they could do to take an active role in combatting it.
“There is only so much that governments and not for profits can do to overcome issues such as domestic violence. More and more it’s up to organisations to work collaboratively to help tackle domestic violence in our communities,” Mr Pennisi said.
QSuper is further extending its support to a new project that aims to assist Queensland organisations to provide support to their employees who may be impacted by domestic or family violence.
The ‘QSuper Workplace Domestic Violence Training Project’ will allow DVConnect to employ a project officer for 12 weeks to develop Workplace Domestic Violence Training packages and a promotion plan to take the program to businesses across the state.
Ms O’Connor said increasing workplace support for employees who may be impacted by domestic or family violence may help cut community and domestic and family violence levels.
“It is our hope that the more Queenslanders who learn about what domestic violence is, are trained to recognise the signs, and can use tools to sensitively approach someone who may be experiencing abuse in their relationships, the more Queenslanders will be empowered to be someone who does something to help stop the violence,” she said.
If you are concerned about someone’s immediate safety, call police on triple zero (000).
If you are experiencing or at risk of experiencing domestic violence or want confidential advice on the best way to help a colleague, call DVConnect’s Womensline on 1800 811 811 or Mensline on 1800 600 636 or the Sexual Assault Line on 1800 010 120.
The opinions expressed and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the QSuper Board. No responsibility is taken for the accuracy of any of the information supplied and you should seek advice for your circumstances.
In 2016 QSuper entered into a partnership with DVConnect
QSuper speaks with DV Connect
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