Let’s talk: domestic violence

Domestic and family violence includes any form of violence, not just physical.

By Brittney Manning

A targeted community messaging project has been launched in Central Queensland to support workers and families with personal safety and wellbeing issues.

Queensland Police have launched the program in Blackwater and Emerald and will next rollout in Mackay and Gladstone.

The community messaging project targets the key areas of mental health, domestic and family violence, drug and alcohol misuse and the Fatal Five, and was designed with men and women working long shifts in mind.

Detective Sergeant Michael Froggatt, Officer in Charge of Blackwater Criminal Investigation Branch, said the project was a collaborative effort involving police, industry and community to increase engagement of shift workers and their families with professional health groups.

“Many of our community members are employed in the mining industry or related support roles and may not be in a position to talk to service providers during business hours, and may not feel comfortable talking to their employers or work colleagues,” he said.

“Scanning the QR codes on the flyers and stickers will take the user directly to the relevant web sites with detailed information and 24 hour contact numbers, so they can begin to access the support they need at a time that suits them.”

The month of May also marks Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

Salvation Army secretary Bruce Harmer said the economic and physical impacts of fires, floods and pandemics has seen an increase in family and domestic violence, or the ‘shadow pandemic’.

“Occasions of family and domestic violence have increased in the past 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic on family life,” Mr Harmer said.

Domestic violence includes any form of violence within a relationship including physical and/or psychological abuse, neglect, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse and/or spiritual abuse.

“Reportedly 1 in 4 women in Australia will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, with family and domestic violence being the largest cause of women and children becoming homeless in Australia,” Mr Harmer said.

“Family and domestic violence can happen to all people from all walks of life.

“We want to take this moment to remind people that there is hope and help available.”

The Gladstone Women’s Health Centre are running a series of workshops and events on topics including self-care, identifying financial abuse and domestic violence, and healthy relationships with teenagers.

To find out more about the classes or services, call the Gladstone Women’s Health Centre on (07) 4979 1456.

If you are seeking help in a family and domestic violence situation, call the 24 hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 811 811 for women or 1800 600 636 for men.

The National Hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) is also available to call 24/7.

Always call 000 if you are in danger.

The Salvation Army offers essential services like food, accommodation, financial and employment services.

Mr Harmer said, “We don’t want anyone to be left in need, trapped or alone, so we’re asking for the support of the Australian community as we launch our Red Shield Appeal to fund crucial services, including our family and domestic violence services.”

To receive support, volunteer or donate, go to the Salvation Army website at www.salvationarmy.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).