Help for YOU
What we can do for you
We can – provide free telephone crisis counselling and support 24 /7
We can – if your first language is not English arrange for free interpreter services
We can – assist with developing a safety plan for you and your children
We can – provide emergency transport and accommodation if necessary
We can – provide advice about and referral to women’s refuge
What we cannot do for you
We cannot – provide you with legal advice
We cannot – support you financially with costs associated with relocating your property
We cannot – provide you with ongoing face to face therapeutic counselling
Women who work
For women who work, living with domestic or family violence can bring additional practical and emotional challenges.
The stress of trying to hide physical signs of abuse or disguising emotional sensitivity, frequent loss of concentration or excessive sick days brings the additional fear for you, that you may lose your job and perhaps your last bit of independence…
Whilst some larger organisations are starting to adopt policies around supporting people who are victims of domestic violence, they are so far in the minority.
Smaller employers may understand your dilemma, but the nature of their business may make it difficult for them to support you in practical ways…
Each situation is unique to you and your particular family circumstances, and our experienced counsellors are mindful of the special needs of women who are in paid employment. You may either be trying to hold it together and keep your job or you may be contemplating leaving or possibly even going to refuge to ensure your safety and possibly that of your children as well. Our Womensline team will be able to assist you with strategies to plan for your future safety and security, engage support from your employer or where to go for additional financial advice. Make the call to Womensline 1800 811 811
Womensline provides support, assistance with safety planning and information around court related concerns to women from all over Queensland.
In addition we provide a face to face service at Holland Park Magistrates Court and Wynnum Magistrates Court, for women involved in domestic and family violence procedures in South East Queensland.
Women who attend court in relation to a Domestic Violence Prevention Order (DVPO) are often anxious and fearful. The presence of the respondent at the courthouse, alongside a lack of knowledge or understanding of court processes can make attending court a stressful experience for many women. Our aim is to provide women with the opportunity to access professional support and information to help them with improved safety, communication and emotional strength when attending court
DVConnect Womensline court workers seek to work collaboratively and respectfully with other services and stakeholders such as:- refuge support workers, the sitting Magistrate, Registrar and other court staff, police prosecutors, court liaison officers and visiting solicitors and recently with the Women’s Legal Service as well.
DVConnect strives to be aware and respectful of the different needs and cultural considerations around women with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and undertakes to provide culturally appropriate services.
The key areas we can assist with include but are not limited to:-
- The possible benefits and limitations of a Domestic Violence Prevention Order (DVPO)
- How to apply for a DVPO and how to apply to vary or revoke a DVPO
- Court processes and protocols, e.g. the role of each of the key people in the courtroom and who sits where.
- What the possible outcomes might be e.g. if the respondent does not appear etc.
- Referral to other services that might be able to help such as: – counselling, housing /accommodation, legal, health and so on.
- This information does not extend to providing Legal Advice or telling women what to do.
As part of the process the Magistrate may raise matters in court which need to be agreed upon so that a final order can be made; we can sometimes provide advocacy with the police prosecutor, respondent/ respondent’s legal representative or domestic violence police liaison worker.
At Court Support
Where we are able DVConnect advocates for and will provide a safe space in or near the court for women to wait, away from the respondent and others. We provide support and counselling in preparation for court appearances and where required can attend in the courtroom to support women, sharing or clarifying information to the police prosecutor on behalf of the women in court if required, and clarifying what occurred in court after the appearance if needed.
Planning for safety
Ideally it is favourable to have in mind and develop a plan for how to ensure you and your children and even your pets can stay safe. No-one knows your situation like you do, so think carefully about how to keep you and your children more safe.
Please call us if you are uncertain about what to do – we are here to help! 1800 811 811
If you are staying in the relationship, think about what you can do to keep yourself safe, particularly at times when your partner becomes abusive, or you sense that the situation is escalating.
Some tips may be:
Create ‘signals’ for supportive neighbours, family or friends that let them know to come over or to call for help. For example switch on a particular light, leave a certain blind closed /open, phone or text a friend with an agreed cue or a message that will be a prompt or code for them to help in whatever way you have discussed.
Keep spare keys and important documents or copies of them, where you can get to them easily.
Naturally you will try protect your children from things they don’t need to hear or see or might feel overwhelmed by.
Keeping in mind their age and their skills, develop similar ‘cues’ for the children or specific safety plans for them, for example if they are capable, teach them how to call 000 or someone else for help or where to go or how to get to a place where they will be safer.
Do whatever it is you need to do to buy time and/or space, to defuse the situation or to protect yourself and your children.
If you decide to phone for help, make sure you phone another number immediately afterwards to avoid your partner using the ‘last-number redial’ facility, and remember if we call you our number will appear as a blocked number…
Similarly, if you regularly use a GPS or the Internet on a home computer, be mindful of online security measures.
You can help your child emotionally recover from domestic violence in many ways:
- Protect children from violence by taking them to a safe place.
- Get support to take action against the violence, this will show them that violence is not acceptable.
- Reassure the child that none of the violent episodes were their fault in any way.
- Tell them how much you love them and cuddle them often.
- Encourage them to talk openly about their feelings.
- Get extra help for your child if necessary.
- Enlist a trusted adult to help provide your child with emotional support.
- Tell the child that abusive behaviour is wrong and be a role model for other ways of managing anger and solving problems.
- Seek professional help, such as counselling, for all family members.
Internet and Personal data safety
If your partner is concerned about your use of the internet, or monitors your internet search history, it would be wise to try to access the internet from a public computer e.g. at the local library or at a friend’s house whenever you can.
Whether you access the internet to go on facebook or other social media or to research information about your situation including domestic violence related services, it’s also a good idea to delete any record of your search history (which websites you have looked at) and any ‘cookies’ ( identifying information held deep in the computer but which could reveal which sites you have visited to someone who knows how to check /interpret this information).
Depending on what type of computer you use and in some cases which search engines that computer uses you will need to follow different steps
For personal computers (PC’s) go to Google support: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/465?hl=en
For Apple / Mac / iPad computers you can go to Apple support: http://support.apple.com/kb/ph11911
Mobile Phone and GPS tracking devices
You should also be aware that certain applications, known as ‘apps’ can be installed onto your smart phone or vehicle GPS which can be ‘tracked’ independently using another device or over the internet.
If you are unsure how to check your phone or GPS for this type of tracking application, you could take your phone to specialist ‘smart phone’ store or ask at your local Police station for advice .