Focusing on 'Prevention' in Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month

14 May 2020

Each May, Queensland marks Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month (DFVP Month) to raise community awareness of domestic and family violence and to send a clear message that domestic and family violence in families and homes will not be tolerated.

Image: Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

As we continue to acknowledge Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in Queensland, the focus this week is on 'prevention' and knowing the worrying signs of potential domestic violence or abuse.

Respecting Your Partner

While we know that it is mostly women and their children who are impacted by family violence, with the perpetrators is most likely to be a man who is their current partners, our statistics from last week show that Domestic and Family Violence covers a much broader spectrum than that. This is why healthy relationships, no matter your gender or situation, are paramount in the prevention of domestic and family violence.

Key tips for our community:

  • Be a positive role model to your friends, call out bad behaviour when you see it;

  • Speak out about domestic violence within your social circle;

  • Be a positive role model to children whom you know may not have positive role models in their lives;

  • Be active in your community and confront prejudicial remarks;

  • Don’t be afraid to tell your friend that they might need some help;

  • Reach out to your friend who may be at risk.

Recognise The Signs

In your own Relationship

Does your partner use intimidation to make you feel afraid? Or do they control the money you make and who you see? Do they control your communication with family and friends? Knowing the warning signs can help you or a loved one get out of a bad relationship before physical abuse starts.

In a Friend

Does a friend or a loved one have unexplained bruising? Or do they suddenly start cancelling plans or withdraw from activities and hobbies they usually love? They could be in an abusive and controlling relationship. As a friend, family member or neighbour:

  • You can arrange a safe word where, if they call you and say the word, you can call the police or go around to their house to pick them up.

  • You can offer for the children to come over to your house if things are escalating in the home.

  • You can offer to have an emergency bag kept at your house with important documents and clothes etc for an emergency. Help them develop a safety plan and locate a safe place for them to go to when it’s needed.

  • Just keep checking in, in a non-threatening way, to keep the communication open. Remember – leaving is not easy and will often take an average of seven attempts before they leave their abusive partner for good.

  • If you see or hear an assault in progress – take immediate action and call 000.

We need to work together to stop the behaviour and attitudes that allow domestic and family violence to continue. All over the state⁠—in our workplaces, schools, sporting clubs, neighbourhoods and communities⁠—find out how you can help put an end to domestic and family violence.

Domestic and family violence comes in many forms. It can be:

  1. Emotional abuse

  2. Verbal abuse

  3. Sexual abuse

  4. Physical abuse

  5. Financial abuse

  6. Social abuse

  7. Stalking

  8. Technology assisted abuse

  9. Spiritual abuse

  10. Cultural abuse

Foster Positive Relationships

Positive relationships are built on trust and support between people. Your partner should value your opinions and share responsibility for decisions. Talk to each other in a respectful way that is non-threatening and equal.

Men continue to be responsible for a majority of domestic violence – seeking help for unhealthy behaviours is the first step to having a positive relationship with a partner. Some helpful resources are here.

IMPORTANT INFO 

  • Check your phone for spyware via Wesnet or Techsafety

  • If you are in danger, don’t feel safe, or fear for someone else’s safety, call Triple Zero (000) immediately and ask for police.

  • For non-urgent police assistance, phone Policelink on 131 444.

If you wish to speak with someone about domestic and family violence, you can contact

  •  DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811

  •  DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636

  • 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732

If you wish to speak to someone about your mental health and wellbeing, you can contact:

  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14

  • Mensline Australia on 1300 78 99 78

Resources

Mental Health services

Life Without Barriers offers a number of mental health services in select communities across Australia