Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is almost at its end after numerous awareness events have been held across the state. In the South-East Queensland corner there are a couple of wonderful initiatives worth noting before the month’s end that protect and support some of our community’s most vulnerable people.
Brisbane Region’s 24/7 Domestic and Family Violence service
At the end of last year, the Brisbane Police Region implemented a 24/7 mobile response service to improve timely support to persons involved in domestic and family violence. The service, called Safer Lives Mobile Service, works to ensure victims are safe and seeks to prevent further harm.
The service is a collaborative effort between QPS and the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service (Micah Project Inc). Domestic and family violence calls can be one of the most frequent and complex situations a police officer attends. With consent from the party involved, QPS officers contacts the mobile service who then attend the location where there has been a domestic and family violence incident. This provides more specialised early support in addition to intervention for all parties involved, particularly the victims.
South Brisbane District’s Vulnerable Persons Unit
Comprising of nine staff, including a specialist child protection investigator, the Domestic and Family Violence Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU) provides an important service to high-risk parties, particularly victims and children involved in domestic and family violence, as well as those of a repeat call nature.
Within a couple of days of a domestic violence incident the VPU will personally attend high-risk addresses to speak with parties at length about the incident with a view to modify their behaviour. As part of this visit the VPU will seek consent for referral to a specialist agency to assist in addressing or coping with the issues creating the relationship’s tension. A regular Integrated Response meeting is then held between a small number of key stakeholders committed to assisting parties. Their assistance may include relationship counselling, parenting advice, assistance with accommodation, or a coordinated response to help with mental health issues.
This project works collaboratively with government and non-government agencies to provide case management support as part of the Integrated Response committee. This committee works to achieve early intervention and implement prevention strategies with the involved parties in order to change behaviour and reduce the number of incident occurrences. An object of the VPU is to provide 100 per cent referral to the relevant external support agency to provide a more effective and proactive response to people involved in domestic and family violence incidents. Ultimately, all organisations are seeking to make victims feel safer in reporting these matters. They are hoping victims will feel safer knowing their stories will be listened to and actioned through an appropriate coordinated response for a life free from violence and intimidation.
While the project works to support those impacted by domestic and family violence, it also works with those in our community affected by mental health issues.
If you or a family member are experiencing family violence, a life is being threatened or there’s an emergency please call police on Triple Zero (000).
For further assistance contact DVConnect Domestic Violence helplines:
1800 811 811
24 hours, 7 days a week
9am-midnight 7 days a week
Women’s Legal Service
Regional 1800 677 278
Brisbane (07) 3392 0670
1800 551 800
For young people up to the age of 25 (freecall)
Child Safety after hours
1800 177 135
24 hours (for concerns about children)