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  • Furry Survivor Stories

    29th January, 2020 | by

    Pets in Crisis – Furry Survivor Stories

     

    Our Pets In Crisis program provides safe accommodation, food and vet care to pets whose families have escaped domestic and family violence, but who cannot take them to a shelter/refuge and have no family/friends who can care for their pet while they find safe, alternative accommodation. 

     

    Beanie & Frankie’s Furry Survivor Story

    Beanie and Frankie’s* Mum Iris* was delighted to have her two furry babies back in her care after she left hospital. Iris unfortunately found herself admitted into hospital after her ex-partner had physically assaulted her so badly that she was knocked unconscious. Her neighbours had heard Iris arguing with a male and the dogs barking excessively, so they had called the Police, which is when she was found and taken to hospital by an ambulance. Iris expressed her gratitude to the foster carers who looked after Beanie and Frankie for many reasons. One reason in particular was that their foster carers had given them regular professional pet grooming hair cuts. Iris said that when she lived with her ex-partner she was not able to access any of their finances, even though she had a full time job. (This is called Financial Abuse). Her abuser didn’t allow her to spend money on Beanie and Frankie, other than food so professional pet grooming would have been out of the question. When Beanie and Frankie were first admitted into the Pets In Crisis program they received all the vaccinations and medications required to safeguard them from potentially serious and sometimes fatal diseases. They were desexed and they were microchipped.

    *Names have been changed. Pets in images are models.

     

    Millie’s Furry Survivor Story

    Millie needed the Pets In Crisis Program foster care accommodation for 2 months. When she first arrived she also needed veterinary attention in the form of her C5 (Kennel Cough) injection, her heart worm injection, as well as flea and tick medication. She was then placed in a foster care home with another dog, of similar size and age to her.  Millie’s reunion with her family was an emotional one. It represented a new beginning and a new life with her family that would be free from violence. Millie’s Mum told the Pets in Crisis Program volunteers that “she didn’t know if she could leave the violent situation she used to be in because she was scared about what would happen to her precious girl Millie.” She went on to add that she is so grateful for this program.

    *Names have been changed. Pets in images are models.

     

    Roxanna’s Furry Survivor Story

    Roxanna* is a little Maltese cross weighing only 4kg. Roxanna and her mum had been living with domestic and family violence. Roxanna’s Mum made the courageous decision to leave her abusive partner and needed somewhere safe for Roxanne to go while she fled to safety herself. She called the DVConnect Womensline and Roxanna was admitted into the Pets In Crisis Program. After a tearful goodbye with her Mum, Roxanna headed to the RSPCA Wacol Animal Hospital where she was given a clean bill of health. That night would have been a very scary one for little Roxanna but the vet staff kept a close eye on her and tried to alleviate her nervousness.

    The next day Roxanna was the perfect patient as she had her desex surgery. Over the next two days, little Roxanna waited for her behavioral assessment. But she was very anxious and refused to eat. The stress of the shelter environment was just too much for her. That’s when we needed a staff member to step up and agree to take her home straight away. No more time in the kennels for this sweet girl. This is how Roxanna ended up being placed with a loving foster carer named Anna*.  Anna said “When I first brought her inside my house, she wasn’t very confident. She was a little unsure of the resident cats and Chihuahua. She had to be hand-fed roast chicken to get her to eat. But she took an instant shine to my partner. Stuck to her like glue! Over the passing weeks, we saw a great transformation in Roxanna. She was outgoing and playful. She even tried to entice my very sedate Chihuahua into games. She was cheeky and funny. And she was eating like a horse! I think she settled into my place really well. Roxanna’s mum ended up needing another 28 days of emergency boarding. But I didn’t mind.  I loved caring for this little madam. When it was time to bring her back to the RSPCA Queensland so that her mum could collect her, there were definitely a lot of mixed feelings. When I saw the reunion between Roxanna and her mum, I knew that this was working out exactly as it should. Roxanna’s mum was so happy and so grateful to us for caring for her girl. She grabbed my hand and kept saying “thank you, thank you so much”. Roxanna was ecstatic to see her mum again, her little body squirmed in excitement and her tail wagged uncontrollably. It truly made this whole process worthwhile.”

    *Names have been changed. Pets in images are models.

     

    Missy’s Furry Survivor Story

    Sharon* and her children were subjected to domestic violence and abuse. Sharon reached out to DVConnect and expressed she wanted assistance to leave a violent household. Sharon and her children were assisted into safe house accommodation. Naturally Sharon was anxious about leaving Missy, the family dog, with RSPCA Queensland, and was concerned about how Missy would cope with the change in environment. RSPCA Queensland reassured Sharon that Missy would be well cared for through a kind and professional service, and they would be reunited in 28 days. Missy was taken into RSPCA Queensland care and supported by animal attendants and vet clinics to have a physical exam, vaccinations and to be de-wormed. Missy was de-sexed and cleared to proceed to the behavioural assessment stage. In the behavioural assessment stage she was cleared for safety handling, separation anxiety and given the tick that meant she was suitable for foster. While assessment took place, Missy was given twice daily walks and cuddles to ensure she received regular exercise and human connection. Missy was placed with foster carers John and Jenny. John and Jenny were aware she was a Pets In Crisis dog and she had been exposed to a violent environment. Missy’s foster carers were patient as she settled into a routine of regular walks. John and Jenny regularly provided updates to Sharon about how Missy was settling confidently into her new routine. Missy’s stay with John and Jenny was extended by 28 days because of Sharon’s need for more time. Missy was in foster care for 2 months and the family reunion with Missy, Sharon and Sharon’s children was emotional because it represented a new beginning as a family. Sharon was grateful and said to John and Jenny, ‘Thank you so much for looking after my girl. I don’t know what I would have done without this program’.

    *Names have been changed. Pets in images are models.

     

    Marble’s Furry Survivor Story

    Chen* contacted the Womensline seeking information about what services DVConnect provides and how DVConnect might assist someone in her situation. Chen had been in a relationship with an abusive partner for 7 years and she had previously been in contact with the Womensline for counselling, support and information. On this most recent occasion, Chen contacted Womensline seeking immediate assistance to get to safety. When identifying potential difficulties and needs in sourcing safe accommodation, Chen stated that she had a 4 year old staffy cross dog named Marble*, that she could not leave at home. In fact, part of the abuse that Chen’s partner had inflicted on her included tormenting Marble. Chen revealed that the idea of leaving Marble behind had been a huge barrier in her previously accessing DVConnect services beyond counselling and support, and Chen’s partner had directly threatened to harm or kill Marble if Chen ever left the relationship. The Womensline Counsellor that Chen spoke with discussed the Pets in Crisis program that DVConnect has available for women and their pets who have experienced domestic or family violence. Although initially reluctant to part from Marble for any extended period of time, Chen self-identified that whilst safety was a priority, assistance through the Pets in Crisis program was the best thing for herself and Marble, and knowing that DVConnect is partnered with reputable organisations through this program including the RSPCA Queensland, Chen decided to enter Marble into the program. On the same day that Chen contacted the Womensline, she had an appointment at a nearby RSPCA that participates in the Pets in Crisis program. Chen signed all documents that ensured Marble would be safe in foster care over a period of a month and then Chen was assisted to emergency motel accommodation and also refuge.

    *Names have been changed. Pets in images are models.

  • Gift in Will

    24th December, 2019 | by

    Leaving a Gift in your Will or Bequest

    Giving a charitable gift in your name or in honour of a loved one can mean the world of difference as we work towards a future free from domestic, family and sexual violence.

    How your gift will help

    • Provide emergency transport to Queenslanders escaping a violent home
    • Provide emergency accommodation to Queenslanders who have escaped domestic, family and sexual violence.
    • Provide safe accommodation, food and veterinary care for pets of families who have fled violence with until they can be united with their family.
    • Education and awareness campaigns to ensure more Queenslanders understand what constitutes domestic violence and that we can help them find a pathway to safety.

     

    DVConnect’s commitment to you

    Our vision is for all relationships to be free from domestic, family and sexual violence. When people like you entrust us with a gift in your will, these are the assurances we make:

    1. We understand that your will is a personal document; one that requires time and careful planning to complete.
    2. We understand that a change in your circumstances may require a change to your Will.
    3. We will work with all parties handling your gift with care, sensitivity and respect to ensure your wishes are met.
    4. We will honour and respect your privacy and your decision regarding your chosen level of engagement and communication with us.
    5. We will invest your gift responsibly to extend our reach into the community so your gift has a direct contribution to helping Queenslanders escape domestic, family and sexual violence.
    6. We will be forever thankful and remember you for the enduring support you are giving to so many others.

     

    Wording for your Will

    We recommend that you seek legal advice in the preparation of your Will to ensure that it is legally valid and accurately reflects your wishes.  It is important to remember to review your will regularly, particularly when life circumstances change. There are a number of ways of making provision for DVConnect in your Will.  

     

    A Bequest

    A ‘bequest’ is a gift of a sum of money or an asset that is made in your Will before the balance of the estate is distributed. When making a bequest to DVConnect, you can make a general bequest or a specific bequest.  A general bequest is a bequest that is not expressed to be for any particular purpose. A specific bequest is one that is directed to a particular program or service offered. In the case of DVConnect, the following are some examples of programs that a specific bequest can be directed to:

    • Womensline
    • Mensline
    • Sexual Assault Helpline
    • Pets In Crisis
    • Bella’s Sanctuary

    You should ensure that a specific bequest clause is drafted to allow flexibility of purpose should a particular project or program no longer exist when your estate is administered.

     

    A Residual Gift

     A residual gift refers to a gift of the whole or part of the remaining balance of the estate after all estate liabilities and bequests have been made. A residual gift is often expressed in percentage terms. Like a bequest, a residual gift can also be general or specific in nature.

     

    Examples of Wording

    Below are three examples of suggested wording to accommodate the most bequest and residual gifts in your Will.

    1. A General Bequest
    • “I give, free of all duties and taxes, the amount of $ or my units/shares in Trust/Ltd, or my real property situated at [insert street address] having the title reference to DVConnect Limited, PO Box 10575, Brisbane 4000 for its general purposes;
    • If DVConnect has ceased to exist or has changed its name or has amalgamated with another organisation, this gift shall not fail but my executor and trustee shall pay it to the organisation that they consider most nearly fulfils the objects that I intend to benefit;
    • The receipt of the Company Secretary or other authorised officer for the time being shall constitute a full and sufficient discharge to my executor and trustee;
    • My executor and trustee shall not be obliged to see or to enquire into the application of money or assets, the subject of such gift.”

     

    1. A Specific Bequest
    •  “I give, free of all duties and taxes, the amount of $ or my units/shares in Trust/Ltd, or my real property situated at [insert street address] having the title reference to DVConnect Limited, PO Box 10575, Brisbane 4000 to be applied for [specify the area, project or program that you intend to benefit]
    • If DVConnect has ceased to exist or has changed its name or has amalgamated with another organisation, or the specific purpose to which the gift is directed no longer exists, this gift shall not fail but my executor and trustee shall pay it to the organisation or and purpose that they consider most nearly fulfils the objects that I intend to benefit;
    • The receipt of the Company Secretary or other authorised officer for the time being shall constitute a full and sufficient discharge to executor and trustee;
    • My executor and trustee shall not be obliged to see or to enquire into the application of money or assets, the subject of such gift.”

      

    1. A Residual Gift
    • “I give, free of all duties and taxes, the residue of my estate (or % of the residue of my estate) to DVConnect Limited, PO Box 10575, Brisbane 4000…..
    • Select one of the below:

    …to be applied for its general purposes;

    OR

    …to be applied for [specify the area, project or program that you intend to benefit]

    • If DVConnect has ceased to exist or has changed its name or has amalgamated with another organisation, or the specific purpose to which the gift is directed no longer exists, this gift shall not fail but my executor and trustee shall pay it to the organisation or and purpose that they consider most nearly fulfils the objects that I intend to benefit;
    • The receipt of the Company Secretary or other authorised officer for the time being shall constitute a full and sufficient discharge to executors and trustees;
    • My executors and trustees shall not be obliged to see or to enquire into the application of money or assets, the subject of such gift.”

     

    Download Gift In Will – Bequest – DVConnect – as of January 2020

     

    Professional advice from a Solicitor

    We recommend that you seek advice from a solicitor to ensure that the wording of your Will reflects your exact wishes. Solicitors who support DVConnect are:

    Maurice Blackburn

    Offices in: Brisbane, Browns Plains, Bundaberg, Caboolture, Cairns, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton, Strathpine, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville. Visiting Solicitors in: Ayr, Cleveland, Gladstone, Gympie, Ingham, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mount Isa. 

    Phone:             1800 621 880, 24/7

    Learn more about Maurice Blackburn

     

    YHC Lawyers

    Address:          Level 15, 100 Edwards Street, Brisbane QLD 4000

    Phone:             07 3160 3315

     

    If you would like to discuss a Gift in your Will further, please email

  • Become a Foster Carer

    12th November, 2019 | by

    How you can become a foster carer

    Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster carer of Pets In Crisis pets. Our Pets In Crisis Program is co-ordinated by the RSPCA Queensland. Therefore all foster caring is controlled by them. The RSPCA Queensland is always keen to work with enthusiastic, compassionate people who would like to help give an animal a second chance at a safe and happy life.  Foster carers are unique individuals who dedicate their time to nurturing and loving those who need it most. 

    Pets In Crisis animals

    Pets in Crisis is a critical program that delivers many community benefits. It provides those who are experiencing domestic and family abuse with peace of mind that their pet will be away from violence and harm while they find a safe environment to rebuild their lives. Sadly pets are often abused as part of the spectrum of domestic violence. Domestic violence counsellors regularly speak with people whose pets are beaten or tortured by abusive partners. Places available in refuges for the victims of domestic and family violence are scarce, and in Queensland none are able to accommodate pets. DVConnect counsellors regularly speak to women whose intimate partners use violence or threats of it towards their pets – in order to frighten and control them into staying. And for the children – moving without their special companions at this time compounds the loss and makes the trauma they are facing in their family life that much more intense. Knowing that their pets will be cared for and that they can be reunited as soon as they can get back on their feet is sometimes the catalyst for many women having the courage to take that vital step towards leaving a violent domestic situation and protecting themselves their children and just as importantly their pets.

    How do I become an RSPCA Foster Carer?

    • Be over 18 years of age.
    • Read through our FAQs page.
    • Complete the Foster Carer Expression of Interest form.
    • Attend a 2 hour Basic Foster Care Training session at your local RSPCA shelter or adoption centre. Bring copies of your own dog and cat vaccination certificates and, if renting, written permission to have animals from the home owner or real estate agent.
    • At the Basic Foster Care Training session, complete a Foster Carer Information form (this gathers all of your personal details, as well as your preferences for the types of animals you’d like to foster).
    • Allow a visit by one of our volunteer property checkers to double-check the suitability of your home.
    • If all requirements are met, wait to be matched to a suitable animal.
    • If fostering an adult dog, attend a “meet and greet” with your new foster animal at the shelter or adoption centre, bringing along your own dogs and all children in the household.
    • Sign a Foster Carer Agreement form for every new animal you foster.

     

     

  • Become a Corporate Partner

    17th October, 2019 | by

    Become a Corporate Partner

    Our approach to corporate partnerships is simple, we strive to build mutual value and understand what you’re trying to achieve as a business. We love to work collaboratively with organisations who share our values. We recognise that every organisation is different and will work with you to develop a tailored partnership that demonstrates your impact and contribution to ending domestic, family and sexual violence.

    Your financial support enables us to help more Queenslanders escape domestic, family and sexual violence by providing emergency transport, emergency accommodation, as well as crisis counselling.

    We are very grateful to have the support of the following amazing partners. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do. If you are interested in being a DVConnect Corporate Partner, please email us at

     

    QSuper

    QSuper have been partners of DVConnect since 2016. QSuper have generously provided funding for one full time crisis counsellor every year since 2016. Because of their support, an additional 4000 phone calls are answered every year. Their Staff Volunteer Team also give up their time every year to help organise and execute the Candle Lighting Vigil held on Remembrance Day. They also hold Domestic Violence morning teas to raise additional funds for those affected by domestic and family violence. Learn More

     

    Halcyon           Mirvac

    Halcyon and Mirvac have been partners of DVConnect since 2018 when a collaboration was formed to build a 5 unit, $1.67 million dollar bridging-accommodation residence. Lifestyle community developers Halcyon and listed property group Mirvac, along with over 90 of their suppliers donated their time, labour and materials to build the property. The residence comprises 2 one-bedroom units, 2 two-bedroom units and 1 three-bedroom unit. Each unit has its own kitchenette, living area and courtyard. The facility also has a communal kitchen and living room, a play area, garage, a dedicated office space for DVConnect support services, as well as an alarm, state-of-the-art security camera surveillance and keypad entry on all doors and gates. Learn more

    Maurice Blackburn

    Maurice Blackburn Women’s Network have donated $10,000 to DVConnect, as well as offering a variety of professional services pro bono. Maurice Blackburn have taken the Queensland Government’s Not Now, Not Ever Pledge which encourages both the corporate sector and community organisations to pledge their commitment to act against domestic and family violence. Maurice Blackburn have always been committed to social justice and were instrumental to contributing to some of Australia’s most influential legal decision, including equal pay for women. Learn more

    RSPCA Queensland

    The RSPCA Queensland has been a partner of DVConnect since 2005, caring for almost 250 animals every year as part of our Pets In Crisis Program. These animals are in desperate need of accommodation because their family have escaped domestic and family violence situations. While their family go to emergency accommodation or a refuge, often animals are not permitted there. The RSPCA Queensland provides much needed veterinary care, as well as accommodation for up to 30 days. The equates to almost 7500 care days plus veterinary care.

    Impact Office Supplies commenced partnering with DVConnect in 2019. Supplying complimentary and discounted stationery items, as well as merchandise items to help DVConnect spread the word about how Queenslanders can get the help they need to find a pathway to safety, away from domestic and family violence.  A proud Australian-owned and operated company, Impact Office Supplies are passionate about what they do and the community they do it within. They offer procurement and distribution proficiencies across a wide range of office consumables including stationery, printer consumables, copy papers, canteen, janitorial, warehouse, PPE, print and promotional goods, furniture and third party logistics. Impact Office Supplies believe that the procurement and distribution of office consumables should be easy not hard, simple not complex.  Impact Office Supplies believe that being able to partner with DVConnect is important so they can continue to champion the cause to reduce domestic and family violence in Queensland. Learn more

     

    Queensland Rail

    Queensland Rail have been partners of DVConnect since 2010. Queensland Rail have generously provided Queenslanders escaping domestic violence through DVConnect with complimentary long-haul train travel. There are many occasions where it is not safe for a person to stay in the town or city they reside in, so it becomes necessary for them to be relocated. This is where the support of Queensland Rail comes in.

     

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.