DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SET TO ESCALATE WITH COVID-19 -- Services across the state on alert and families at risk
by Queensland Domestic Violence Service Network and the Women’s Health Service Alliance
For Immediate Release: 23rd March 2020
Specialist frontline domestic and family violence and women’s health workers are on ready alert for higher rates and increasingly serious cases of domestic violence as COVID-19 forces significant proportions of the population into isolation and places financial strain on families reliant upon income from insecure work.
From across the state we are hearing from a number of specialist women’s health and domestic and family violence services that the way they deliver services are changing to adapt to the ever evolving COVID-19 virus. Most services have many staff working from home wherever possible, ensuring services continue to be offered via telephone and video conferencing facilities. We know that some homes will become extraordinarily dangerous and terrifying for women and children at risk of, or currently experiencing, domestic violence. State-wide services such as DVConnect will continue to be there to support 24/7.
“As of this week we will see an increase in working and supporting clients by phone only’’ says The Centre For Women & Co. CEO, Stacey Ross. “We have heard that some services are still attending court whilst others, including our service, have pulled that support and can now only offer over the phone support. It is causing distress and anxiety among women and children as well as our frontline teams.’’
DVConnect, CEO, Beck O’Connor, says “We have serious concerns about women’s limited ability to make contact with services face to face or thinking they cannot escape from life threatening danger while under imposed home isolation or quarantine. We also have significant concern that men may not actively be seeking or attending change behaviour programs over the coming months, so we need to rapidly implement or ramp up alternative ways of keeping men engaged, discussing strategies for managing their behaviour while in isolation and accountability for their choice to use violence”.
Queensland Domestic Violence Service Network and the Women’s Health Service Alliance and its members warn that women and their children experiencing domestic and family violence who are in quarantine are going to be the most affected. “We are extremely concerned that women who have to quarantine and are unable to have direct contact with specialist staff will have limited options to access safe accommodation, justice processes and will remain in violent homes,” says Cathy Crawford, Coordinator of The Townsville Women’s Centre. The situation could/will worsen exponentially if the virus spreads to service agencies or crisis accommodation facilities themselves. “However, it is extremely important to know that while face to face services are limited, contact can be made via the phone, Facebook, and website, and support will be provided,’’ says Cathy.
The full statement continues here: Domestic violence to escalate with COVID - MR 23Mar2020
(Posted 24 Mar 2020)
QUEENSLAND LAUNCHES FIRST FRAMEWORK TO PREVENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE
15 October 2019
Excerpt from Media Statement by Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, The Honourable Di Farmer
The Palaszczuk Government has listened to victims and survivors to create Queensland’s first ever Sexual Violence Prevention Framework.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said Prevent. Support. Believe. Queensland’s Framework to address Sexual Violence committed to a Queensland where everyone lives free of the fear, threat or experience of sexual violence.
“For the first time we have a framework which builds on our progress so far, brings together the evidence and advice of survivors with the expertise and experience of the people who are there to support them - and establishes an over-arching framework for all Government policy and programs addressing sexual violence,” she said.
“While community attitudes are changing thanks to social movements like #metoo and #timesup, and the committed advocacy of survivors and Governments, evidence shows experiences of sexual violence are widespread.
“One in five women over the age of 15 and one in 20 men have experienced sexual assault — which means we all know someone who’s been affected.”
For information on the new Framework, go to:
(Posted Oct 2019)
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH SUPPORTS SURVIVORS
Media Release by The Honourable Di Farmer, Friday 27 September 2019
Queenslanders are being urged to take a stand against sexual violence and show their support for survivors ahead of next month’s Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence and Minister for Women Di Farmer marked the start of the month on the Gold Coast today (Friday 27 September) to coincide with the launch of Australia’s first Start by Believing campaign hosted by the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence.
“Start by Believing is a global campaign designed to change the way we respond to sexual assault, reminding us all that the most important thing we can say to someone who discloses sexual assault is I believe you,” Ms Farmer said. “One in five women over the age of fifteen, and one in twenty men have experienced sexual assault.
“If you are a woman with an intellectual disability, there is a ninety percent chance you’ve been assaulted. That means everybody knows someone who’s experienced sexual assault, whether you know it or not.”
Ms Farmer said while sexual violence statistics were shocking, it was believed many more assaults go unreported.
“This is what makes Sexual Violence Awareness Month so important as it provides a platform to raise awareness in our communities, schools and workplaces, and to show victims that help is available and they are not alone,” she said.
“We are fortunate in Queensland to have a strong, passionate sexual violence support sector, working together through the Queensland Sexual Assault Network, who have been active in promoting and coordinating Sexual Violence Awareness Month activities.
For the full media release: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/9/27/sexual-violence-awareness-month-supports-survivors
(Posted Sept 2019)
WOMEN'S HEALTH WEEK 2–6 September 2019
Take the lead on your health and pave the way to a healthier you!
Women’s Health Week
2–6 September 2019
Sign up to receive free daily health information & tools to unlock your powers for good health.
Looking for an event?
There are more than 2500 events happening all around Australia during Women’s Health Week https://events.womenshealthweek.com.au/events
(Posted Aug 2019)
QUEENSLAND SENIORS WEEK – 17-25 August
During 17-25 August 2019, Queensland Seniors Week will connect communities, providing opportunities for people to share and learn new experiences, discover services and support, and assist in reducing social isolation.
For some living in rural and remote areas, Seniors Week is the one time of year they get to catch up with current and long-lost friends.
So let’s come together Queensland!
Register and find events near you: www.qldseniorsweek.org.au/events
NAIDOC WEEK: 7-14 JULY
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
For information: https://www.naidoc.org.au/
(Posted June 2019)