Find out more in the video below about the ways in which our team at DVConnect can help.
We know that asking for help isn’t easy
We know how difficult it can be to reach out and ask for help, even when you really want to.
Our crisis counsellors are here to help you explore the options available so you can feel safe at home or feel safe in leaving. We will be guided by you in how we can best provide support.
Domestic and family violence is against the law
Domestic and family violence is not acceptable in Australia. You do not need to remain in an unsafe relationship in order to stay in Australia. There are legal protections available to people who have experienced abuse from their partner or family members, including permanent and temporary visa holders. Find out more about domestic violence and the law in this Factsheet from Women’s Legal Service Queensland.
Please call us if:
You feel unsafe at home
You’re unsure if what you are experiencing is abuse
You are worried that someone you know is experiencing abuse in their relationship
Find out more information about domestic and family violence below.
DVConnect can help you with safety planning whether you have made the decision to stay in a relationship, are thinking about leaving, or have already left an abusive relationship.
What is safety planning?
Safety planning involves having an actionable plan in place that can help minimise any harm to you and your loved ones, particularly at times when you are concerned that the abuse is escalating.
Please remember that ultimately the responsibility to stop the violence is the responsibility of the person who chooses to use violence.
An actionable and realistic safety plan can involve making practical adjustments that can enhance your ability to leave quickly should you need to. For example, it can include reversing the car in the driveway and making sure that it is not blocked off so you can exit quickly. It can also involve having a bag packed and ready to go with medication and identification documents. It could also involve making a mental note of the rooms in your house with a lock on them so that you are able to make a call for help in a safe place.
Below are some safety planning steps to help you create a Safety Plan specific to your own personal circumstances.
If you are staying
Develop ‘signals’ with supportive neighbours or friends, for example, hanging a white sheet on your clothesline could indicate you need someone to call the Police.
Keep essential items like spare keys, money and important documents where you can get to them quickly.
Plan and practice (with your children) how you might escape from your home quickly. Think about the safest exits.
Teach your children that their responsibility is to stay safe – not to rescue you.
Plan where you will go and how you will get there in case you need to leave in a hurry (for example a friend’s house, or a 24/7 Police Station if it is available to you).
Ask a family member or friend if they can take care of your pets at their house.
If you are leaving
Prepare a bag with clothes, medication, keys and other important items.
Put aside some money for travel expenses, accommodation and food if possible.
Make copies of important documents, e.g. car registration, tax file number, title deeds, loan records, Medicare card, driver’s licence, account details, prescriptions, passports, etc and leave them with someone you trust or take photos of them and store them securely.
If you have children, take clothes for them, medication, bottles and some of their favourite toys.
If you have pets, take food and items needed for travelling (e.g., harness and travel carrier).
Prepare to take paid domestic violence leave from work. All employees in the Fair Work system (including part-time and casual employees) will be entitled to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. Paid family and domestic violence leave is available for employees of non-small business employers, from 1 February 2023. Employees of small businesses can access the leave from 1 August 2023. Find out more here.
After you have left
Report abuse to the Police and apply for a DVO.
If you already have a DVO, carry a copy of it with you. If you feel comfortable, share a copy of it and a photo of your partner with your workplace and your children’s school so that they are aware.
Redirect your mail and get a post office box. Australia Post provides these services for free to survivors of domestic and family violence, subject to eligibility. Find out more here.
Get a new SIM card so you have a new phone number.
Think about getting a spare SIM card or phone if you are legally required to communicate with your ex-partner about your children.
If you haven’t already, link in with a domestic and family violence service for support.
Block your partner on social media or set up a new private profile.
Every person’s Safety Plan is unique. While you can make a Safety Plan on your own, our crisis counsellors can give you ideas and information to help you make one.
Using abuse is a choice and it is never your fault. You are not responsible for your partner (or ex-partner’s) abusive behaviour, and you cannot stop them from choosing to use violence.
The person using abuse is responsible for making the choice to abuse, just as they are responsible for making the choice to stop. A Safety Plan helps to protect your safety when the person using violence makes the choice to harm.
DVConnect can provide information and support whether you are wanting to stay in the home, are thinking about leaving, or have already left.
If you are escaping domestic and family violence and need a safe place to go, call DVConnect to discuss your options including staying with a safe family member or friend, accessing shelters (or refuge), finding out who your local specialist service is, or other alternatives.
Women’s Shelters (sometimes called safe houses or refuge) provide safe and secure accommodation and specialist support for women and children escaping domestic and family violence. DVConnect has relationships with shelters throughout Queensland and assists families to access these places of safety every day.
It’s important to know that shelters are not the only option or even the first option to keep you safe. Shelter spaces are in high demand so our crisis counsellors will ask you first if you have a family member or friend who is safe to say with, or if there are other accommodation options that you might have available.
What to expect at Shelter
Shelters vary and can be communal or provide self-contained units.
Shelters provide temporary accommodation where women and children stay for a couple of weeks or a few months.
Shelters are staffed with employees who help women to get back up on their feet and prepare for life after refuge.
To maintain security and safety, the location and details of shelters are confidential and not available to the public. It is a condition of entering most shelters that you understand you cannot reveal the location to anyone including your family.
Shelters do not have the facilities to store large items and furniture, so it is best to pack lightly and leave larger items with a safe family member, friend or at a storage unit.