A Mount Isa domestic violence support service is raising awareness and support for victims, in conjunction with Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.
Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is an annual event held each May to raise community awareness of the social and personal impacts of domestic and family violence and the support available to those affected.
North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Service team leader Shan O'Hern said Domestic Violence Awareness Month was a time for all of us to speak up about domestic violence, raise awareness and support survivors of this devastating but common issue.
"Domestic and family violence isn't always physical; it can include financial, emotional or technology abuse. There are many forms of abuse that make up domestic and family violence, however, they are all used to control of person and their actions," Ms O'Hern said.
"Domestic violence can happen to anyone, and it is present in every community, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or nationality."
While NQDVRS were not hosting an event to coincide with prevention month, the organisation have displayed shoes on their front steps to
"Being so close to the police station and the court house, we have women, children and perpetrators coming past daily to go to court so we have shoes out there that represent women and children who are living with domestic and family violence.
"On each pair of shoes we have stories, from women who are survivors of domestic and family violence, we also have some stories from children."
Ms O'Hern said domestic and family violence was a large issue in Mount Isa.
"Our DV court is every Wednesday and at the moment we have easily 30 plus domestic violence orders going through and that doesn't include our criminals (when orders are breached)."
In 2018, Mount Isa had the highest rates of domestic violence order breaches in Queensland.
For every 100,000 Queenslanders, there were 2092 breaches in Mount Isa - more than double the rate in Townsville, which had the second-highest breach rate in the state.
Ms O'Hern said for anyone who was a victim of domestic and family violence, services like NQDVRS could assist.
"Regardless of the history with the abuser, even if it included some happy moments, you don't deserve to be treated that way. Getting out of an abusive relationship can be complex, even more so when children are involved. But with a bit of planning, you can make a safe exit from the situation.
"Here at NQDVRS we can help with domestic and family violence counselling, DVO variations, we have a Keeping Strong Women Safe program, we have a homelessness program, we have Safe At Home program, Men's Behavioural Change program; all that can assist in domestic and family violence situations."
Australia's domestic and family violence statistics:
- 1 in 6 women have experienced physical and or sexual violence by a partner they were living with since age 15
- 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted and/or threatened since age 15
- In 2016-2017 72,000 women and 34,000 children sought support from homelessness services due to family violence - leading cause of homelessness
- Almost 1 in 4 (23%) women and 1 in 6 (16%) men have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner since the age of 15
- From April 30th 2021 to April 30th 2022, police lodged 19,286 DVO's in QLD , the courts lodged 71 DVO applications and 4526 DVO applications were made privately
- From April 30th 2021 to April 30th 2022 there have been a recorded total of 26, 384 contraventions of DVOs
- In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are five times more likely to be murdered at the hands of a current or former intimate partner than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
- The level of severity of DFV experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is further highlighted by their rate of hospitalisation, which is said to be 35 times higher than the hospitalisation rate of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims.
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