DVConnect feels very strongly that we need to respond to the article reported by the Gold Coast Bulletin today, with regard to accommodation for women escaping domestic violence. We believe the information contained in the article may result in women in need of safety and protection, being put off from seeking help from the sector, thereby further adding to the danger and distress that they are currently experiencing.
DVConnect responds to thousands of women in crisis every year and for those we cannot get immediately into a refuge we accommodate in a motel. Women from the Gold Coast are placed in a motel either on the coast or in Brisbane mostly for one or two nights but occasionally for a little longer. The motels used by DVConnect are not luxury but they are clean and well maintained and in a central location to allow for easy access to transport and only intended for the shortest stay. The motel that has been most used by DVConnect has a swimming pool for older children and is staffed 24/7 by workers who are very supportive of our clients and regularly in touch with DVConnect on a 24 hour basis. As well, services have been funded by Department of Communities to visit the families in motel to offer face to face support while DVConnect continues to manage the next leg of the journey for them. This often involves transport to family anywhere in Australia and even overseas in some cases, a refuge placement or into another form of accommodation or assistance to extra secure their own homes when it is safe to return. Some women only need a few days in a motel and do not require a refuge. There is no one size fits all response because of varying needs of the women who contact us for help. Some women with animals are accommodated in pet friendly motels until they can go into the Pets in Crisis program offered by the RSPCA Qld or able to accompany their owners to a pet friendly refuge.
Women from the Gold Coast were brought to a Brisbane motel because of the outreach service provided by Safer Lives (Micah) until the recent funding of a similar program on the Gold Coast (Centacare). This will now allow more Gold Coast women to remain on the coast in motel unless it is unsafe for them to do so.
If we were advised of any concerns with motel accommodation we would investigate immediately. We are constantly monitoring to ensure it meets reasonable standards and in touch with the women daily. As well, the outreach service would alert us to any concerns as they are visiting regularly. We would always want to know if a service we provided was not up to standard.
I was alerted to this article being prepared on ANZAC Day and contacted the Gold Coast Bulletin to ask about the information that they had and to provide a true picture of the crisis management of families fleeing the violence at home. I also expressed my concerns that this type of reporting could add to the unnecessary distress of women who are currently unsafe and planning to leave the violence. It was disappointing to note very little of that information was communicated in the article.
I ask the followers of this Facebook page to share this story in the hope that women in danger will still call domestic violence services and/or police for the help that we can provide for them, their children and their pets.
.http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/crime-court/gold-coast-women-who-have-sustained-shocking-injuries-are-sleeping-on-the-beach-and-in-hotel-stairwells/news-story/ab70934eb3dd812f9d2d76b27a792ff6 ... See MoreSee Less
Another significant message coming from police but this time from UK police but the same message wherever we are. The most common question "why does she stay" is often complicated to answer but not here. This image gives us a clear indication of why this woman didn't leave and she is not alone when the warning is so glaringly stark. As we have said previously, leaving domestic violence can be a treacherous time and many women are too paralysed with fear to think of leaving.
This article is important because it is the reality of policing throughout most of the state on any given day. To see the open frustration of police is so telling and only underscores the frustration that we all feel about this relentless self entitled aggression we are responding to everyday.
But, the fact that the police are expressing their frustration this way and having the media so willing to report it has to be seen as positive in some ways because it increases awareness and adds to the growing abhorrence of domestic violence by the wider community.
We have to keep making these posts and keep sharing.
🌹🌹🌹 Red Rose Alert 🌹🌹🌹 Red Rose Rally will be held next Friday 28th April 2017 for China Crawford from Bently Park at Noon on the corner of Alice and George Streets Brisbane. Wear Black and bring a Red Rose 🌹 ... See MoreSee Less
While looking for something else I stumbled on this powerful article and wanted to share it because this is so much about what many women cry out for understanding about - the damaging impact of Emotional and Psychological Abuse that we know also as COERCIVE CONTROL. This is what is at the core of every fear instilling relationship called domestic violence and in this case, the only act of reported physical violence was the final murderous act that wiped out a woman and her children. Leaving domestic violence can be a treacherous time for women. www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/megan-short-domestic-violence_us_57bb20dfe4b03d51368996cf... See MoreSee Less
A recent DVConnect post showed the alarming rate of hospital admissions of women with traumatic brain injury because of domestic violence (Brain Injury Australia). Today a national review of 2013-14 hospital admissions by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has confirmed this and further shown that assaults on women are more likely to happen within the home. It is also important to note that pregnancy can be a particularly vulnerable time for women living with domestic violence as those of us working in this field have known for many years. www.news.com.au/national/domestic-assaults-the-major-cause-of-hospitalisation-of-women-after-viol...... See MoreSee Less