Search Results for: pets in crisis

  • 10 facts about our Pets In Crisis Program

    1st July, 2019 | by

    10 facts about our Pets In Crisis Program

    1. The Pets In Crisis Program exists to care for pets whose families are escaping domestic violence.
    2. A lot of refuges do not accept pets, so many people decide to stay in a domestic violence situation for fear of what might happen to their pet if they leave. Sadly, our counsellors regularly speak to people whose intimate partners use violence or threats of it towards their pets – in order to frighten and control them into staying.
    3. Established in 2005, the Program is a collaboration between DVConnect and the RSPCA Queensland.
    4. Each pet is given safe accommodation, food, and in most cases veterinary care.
    5. The Program cares for almost 300 pets each year.
    6. BUT, last financial year we were forced to turn away 2-3 pets every week because we don’t have enough funding or safe accommodation to care for them.
    7. Pets can stay in the program for up to 28 days.
    8. Any pet is accepted, provided there is a suitable place for them to be cared for.
    9. Each pet is given a thorough health check by an RSPCA veterinarian. Sadly though, a lot of pets from domestic violence situations haven’t received the medical care they should have in their lives. This means more vet care is needed, which means more costs.
    10. The minimum cost to operate the Pets In Crisis Program is $150,000. This increases when the number of animals needing help increases. 
    11. To access this program, you must speak with the DVConnect team. Please call anytime on 1800 811 811, they are available to chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


    If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, DVConnect can help you find a pathway to safety, away from violence. The DVConnect helplines are:

    • Womensline 1800 811 811, available 24/7
    • Mensline 1800 600 636 available from 9am – midnight, 7 days
    • Sexual Assault Helpline 1800 010 120, available from 7.30am – 11.30pm, 7 days.
    • For more visit www.DVConnect.org.

    For more, contact 

  • Other ways to help

    14th January, 2022 | by

    By supporting the work of DVConnect, you give every person who asks us for help, a path to safety. There are many ways you can support our work no matter who you are. Find a way from the list below:

    Follow us on social media to stay up to date on how you can get involved

  • About Us

    17th March, 2020 | by

    The Principles that guide us

    1. Domestic, family, and sexual violence is prevalent, pervasive and a serious human rights violation.
    2. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know best what their communities need and want, and we are committed to listening deeply to these needs and embedding reconciliation in practice.
    3. Everyone has the right to live without fear from violence.
    4. The use of violence is a choice and people need to be held responsible and accountable for their choices.
    5. We operate from an intersectional feminist framework, acknowledging that domestic and family violence is gender-based violence, predominantly perpetrated by men against women and children.
    6. It is critical that we continue to learn from and include diverse voices of survivors and culturally diverse communities when seeking to prevent violence.
      • We acknowledge and respect the abilities, strengths, goals and needs of people living with disability.
      • We acknowledge and are responsive to the unique needs and challenges experienced by the LGBTQ+ community.
      • We acknowledge the value of including the voice of culturally and linguistically diverse populations in our work.
      • We understand and are adaptable to meet different needs and challenges experienced by people living in regional, rural and remote areas.
      • We acknowledge the different priorities and concerns for different age groups, including young people and elders.
    7. We provide inclusive services that are evidence-based and trauma informed.
    8. We are committed to working collaboratively as part of a broader system.

    Our Values 

    We are trustworthy and act with honesty, always holding ourselves to a high level of ethical standards.

    We treat those we support and each other with patience, kindness, empathy and care.

    We lead by example, are transparent and solution focused and take ownership for our decisions and actions. 

    We treat all people with dignity, equity and value each other’s contribution.

    We support and inspire all people to have a voice and be able to make choices to enable them to grow in strength, confidence and knowledge. We support all people to voice their needs and provide access to options, enabling self-determination.

    Our Vision
     All lives are free from violence and abuse.

    Our Purpose
    Collaboratively shaping choices and pathways for a life free from violence and abuse. 

    Our Services and Programs

    DVConnect provides the Queensland-wide domestic and family violence helplines, Womensline and Mensline, supporting families to live lives free from violence and facilitating access to safety.

    DVConnect also provides the state-wide Sexual Assault Helpline for anyone who has been impacted by sexual abuse, including friends and family of survivors of assault, whether recent or historic.

    In addition, DVConnect provides VictimConnect, a new program supporting people impacted by violent crime in Queensland, and clinical oversight as well as specialist counselling services under the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service, 1800RESPECT.

    DVConnect works in partnership with the RSPCA Queensland to provide safe accommodation for pets accompanying individuals escaping domestic, family and sexual violence. DVConnect also operates Bella’s Sanctuary, a medium-term transitional accommodation residence for women and children after leaving shelter.

    Our expert training team provide tailored training options to business, organisations, government departments and services to help people, recognise and respond to domestic and family violence in the workplace. Find out more about our Workplace Training here.

  • Survivor Stories

    4th February, 2020 | by

    There is always a path to safety: Tahnee* and her 4 children’s story

    19 year old Tahnee* was highly distressed when she spoke to the Womensline Counsellor. She was terrified that her partner would come to her neighbour’s house where she was calling from and force her and her 4 children to return home.

    Tahnee’s partner’s violence had escalated since the birth of her child only 3 weeks earlier and she needed to get her and her 4 children, all under the age of 10, to safety. With hardly any belongings and no place to stay, the Womensline Counsellor and Support Worker worked as a team, always having one person on the phone with Tahnee while the other contacted a local Women’s Centre so Tahnee could receive some face to face counselling and practical support. After DVConnect transported Tahnee and her children to the Women’s Centre, the Womensline Counsellor worked closely with the staff at the Centre to ensure Tahnee didn’t have to re-tell her story to various services.

    The Womensline Counsellor then organised emergency motel accommodation for Tahnee and her children. While in motel accommodation, a Womensline Counsellor called Tahnee to see how she and the kids were. Tahnee said she felt supported and safe and had been visited in the motel by a staff member from the Women’s Centre who gave her children’s clothes, nappies, food and some toys. This really helped because when Tahnee escaped her home, she had to leave almost everything behind.

    Tahnee said she felt deeply appreciative of the swift support she received through a coordinated service response which had been facilitated by DVConnect. Tahnee and her children were later able to go into a high security refuge where they would receive support to get back up on their feet.

    DVConnect has many positive working relationships with partner agencies across Queensland. These relationships are particularly valuable in remote and regional areas where DVConnect is fortunate to work with partner organisations that have resources and local expertise. These relationships have proven to be essential for supporting women with basic material aid, face to face support, and even a safe place to sit with a cup of tea for a couple of hours.

    A brown woman with short hair is wearing a white tank top and smiling at the camera

    *Name and location have been changed to protect our client’s identity. Stock photo above.

    Domestic Violence doesn’t discriminate: Xanthe’s* Story

    Xanthe* called DVConnect very unsure of what to expect from us. Xanthe said that she was a devout Christian and the thought of leaving her husband was distressing. She was concerned about the type of advice she would receive from someone who was not a Christian and therefore could not understand her situation.

    The counsellor reassured Xanthe that after their talk, she would be the one making the decision about her life and that all DVConnect would do is provide her information, options for her to consider, and support if she wanted it.

    Xanthe was well educated, financially secure and lived in an area where there wasn’t thought to be any domestic violence. But domestic and family violence doesn’t discriminate. It occurs in all communities an impacts all kinds of people. Xanthe also held a very high position as a Financial Advisor for a large firm in town and was married to a highly connected man which meant leaving him was not only frightening because of his control over her but she also felt shame about her work, social circle and church finding out.

    She said, “No one will believe that he could do that to me not even the pastor. He presents so well”. A Safety Plan was put in place between the Womensline Counsellor and Xanthe and part of the Safety Plan was that if Xanthe needed further help from DVConnect, she would call. Three weeks later Xanthe called DVConnect to say that she would be leaving that night and needed our help. We supported Xanthe to safety so she could live a life free from violence and abuse.

    A white woman with blonde hair and glasses has a half smile. There are other women behind her with yoga mats in hand

    *Name and location have been changed to protect our client’s identity. Stock photo above.

    A special bond: Amara* and Bella’s* story

    Amara* had been in a relationship with an abusive partner for 7 years. She had been in contact with DVConnect’s Womensline in the past for counselling, support and information. Now Amara contacted Womensline seeking immediate assistance to get to safety.

    Amara had a 4 year old rescue chihuahua named Bella* that she would not leave behind in an unsafe home. Part of the abuse that Amara’s partner had inflicted on her included tormenting Bella and threatening to kill Bella if Amara ever left him. The idea of leaving Bella behind had been a huge barrier in her previously accessing DVConnect services beyond counselling and support.

    The Womensline Counsellor that Amara spoke with explained the Pets in Crisis program with the RSPCA QLD for women and their pets who have experienced domestic or family violence. Although initially reluctant to part with Bella for any extended period of time, Amara recognised how the Pets in Crisis program could support her and Bella to safety.

    On the same day that Amara contacted Womensline, she received an appointment at a nearby RSPCA that participated in the Pets in Crisis program. Amara signed all documents that ensured Bella would be safe in foster care over a period of a month and then Amara was assisted by DVConnect into emergency motel accommodation and then refuge.

    Amara was later reunited with Bella.

    A small brown dog with big eyes against a yellow background

    *Name and location have been changed to protect our client’s identity. Stock photo above.

    Journey to healing: Daisy’s* Story

    A police station in Far North Queensland referred Daisy*, a First Nations woman, to DVConnect. Daisy was a young person who had been experiencing domestic and family violence from her partner of 6 months and the violence had escalated recently.

    The Police advised that although Daisy’s partner was currently being detained, there was a high likelihood he would be released within 24 hours. And due to living in a small, remote community, her partner lived in close proximity to her family’s home. Daisy required urgent assistance to get to safety.

    When Daisy spoke to Womensline, she said she had a safe family member who lived in another town who she could stay with. However, Daisy didn’t have a contact number for them. Before we could organise transport to this safe relative, we needed to know that they would allow her to stay with them. With Daisy’s consent, we coordinated with local Police to contact the family member and confirm they were happy to have Daisy come to stay with them.

    Having confirmed Daisy could stay with her relative who lived outside of town, the Womensline team booked Daisy on the next available flight and local Police assisted Daisy to the airport. Daisy arrived safely at her extended family’s home.


    It’s been a few years since Daisy relocated and she has stayed connected to her culture. She also achieved her goal of graduating from TAFE and now works a full time job.

    The collaborative action between DVConnect and local remote Police supported Daisy, who had experienced significant trauma, to live a safe life and start her journey of healing. Daisy’s survivor story says it all about how important it is to respond swiftly and collaboratively to complex circumstances, while also including culturally sensitive and appropriate practice. Daisy was relocated within 24 hours of the Police referral to DVConnect.

    A young brown woman is writing on a notepad and looking at the computer

    *Name and location have been changed to protect our client’s identity. Stock photo above.

    Refuge is not the only option: Lynette’s* Story

    A Social Worker from a regional hospital contacted DVConnect’s Womensline about a patient who had been a victim of ongoing domestic violence. Lynette* was in her late 60’s and had been experiencing abuse from her husband who was also her Carer.

    Lynette was financially dependent on her husband and had no access to money. Lynette also had mobility issues (due to her disability) and injuries from a combination of neglect and abuse by her husband. Lynette needed a safe place that could also meet her care needs.

    In working closely with the Hospital Social Work team, DVConnect were able to identify that Lynette had an adult son who lived interstate and wanted to help. While Lynette was in hospital, her son set his house up so that she could come and live with him.

    Due to Lynette being unable to travel or live independently, DVConnect assisted Lynette’s son to Queensland to pick his mother up from the hospital. DVConnect then assisted Lynette and her son to her son’s home interstate.

    Refuge is not the only option DVConnect provides to women. We want to create a pathway to safety for every person who calls us. And that looks different for each client. Support networks are essential for survivors of violence and abuse.

    Two older women are on the beach. One is sitting on a chair and they are looking out at the ocean.

    *Name and location have been changed to protect our client’s identity. Stock photo above.

    We’re strongest when we work together: Deema’s* Story

    DVConnect’s Womensline received a call from a Hospital Social Worker seeking safe accommodation for a patient. The patient, Deema* had been admitted following a domestic violence incident.

    Deema was a transgender woman who was deaf and non-verbal. Deema could communicate via written notes or text messages but she didn’t have a phone. Deema was also in Australia on a tourist visa which expired 2 days earlier. She wanted to return to her country of origin but the person using violence had taken her passport to prevent her from leaving.

    The hospital Social Worker and other medical staff, we were able to facilitate an extended hospital admission for Deema to give the Womensline team enough time to coordinate support for her.

    We worked with Deema and the Embassy from her country of origin to secure a visa and passport as a matter of priority. We also sourced a WESNET phone for her and Centacare delivered this phone to Deema in the hospital. Once Deema had the phone set up and was medically discharged, we booked her into emergency motel accommodation and assisted her with travel to the motel.

    DVConnect worked very closely with the Embassy and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to support Deema. Deema’s documentation was confirmed within 2 business days and Deema was promptly on a flight home to her mother. The collaboration and coordination facilitated by DVConnect meant that Deema was on her way home within 4 days of her first contact with us.

    The next day, the Womensline team received an email from the Embassy Consular of Deema’s Embassy stating: “this is amazing TEAMwork”. We also received a text message from Deema who told us that she was so happy to be reunited with her mother and she thanked us for all of the support that we provided to assist her to safety.

    DVConnect’s strengths lie in our ability to respond quickly, think laterally and act collaboratively, to provide an individualised and sensitive response to women seeking safety.

    A woman with fair hair is on a plane and looking out a window

    *Name and location have been changed to protect our client’s identity. Stock photo above.

    All women deserve to feel safe at home: Maddie* and her twins Story

    Maddie* was a young woman living on one of the islands in the Torres Strait. She lived with her partner, their twin girls and his family. Maddie’s family were from another island, so she had no supports close by when her partner assaulted her.

    Although Maddie’s partner fled the home after the assault in order to evade Police, she knew he would eventually return home and she and her twins would be unsafe again. So the next day, she went to a health clinic with her girls.

    At the clinic, Maddie was connected with DVConnect’s Womensline. She told the Counsellor that she wanted to be with her family on the other Island as she and her twins would be safe there. Her family agreed so DVConnect arranged a flight for Maddie and her twins, departing the following morning.

    The health clinic agreed to look after Maddie and her twins with the help of the local community Police who would protect them until she was safely on the plane.

    DVConnect arranges up to four flights a week from remote parts of the State including the Torres Strait, Gulf region. Because all women deserve to feel safe at home.

    A brown woman and her child hug on a couch.

    *Name and location have been changed to protect our client’s identity. Stock photo above.

Thank you DVConnect for saving my Mums life, and mine. You guys getting us out of there changed everything. Thank you so much. Life is good now! 

Our survivor has chosen to remain anonymous.

Read Survivor Stories

How your donation will help

  • Provides operational support to fund our bridging accommodation residence Bella's Sanctuary.
  • Provides emergency transport and accommodation for Queenslanders in crisis due to domestic and family violence.
  • Provides safety planning, crisis counselling and information to those impacted by domestic and family violence.
  • Educates Queenslanders on how to help family, friends and colleagues who have experienced, or are experiencing domestic and family violence.