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New framework to help organisations combat Domestic and Family Violence in Bundaberg

You are here: DFV
Last updated:
28/06/2022

While reducing Domestic and Family Violence is not a simple nor easy feat in the Bundaberg community, there are numerous organisations and professionals working to do just that.

And now, there is a Bundaberg-specific framework which professionals can use to streamline language, principles, tools, and strengthen their network of organisations by Working Together.

IMPACT is proud to have collaborated with Family Law Pathways and the Family Relationship Centre to create the Working Together Commitment.

Having launched the framework during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention month at IMPACT, Intensive Family Support manager Staci Rae said this tool outlines the way our community aims to cooperate with each other, stay focused and communicate more effectively.

She said there were about 25-30 people from various professional background – social work, health, council, and childcare – who attended the launch. 

“Collaboration is key to combating DFV in Bundaberg,” she said.

She said this commitment would work alongside the charter for children and young people’s wellbeing.

With high domestic violence rates in the community, Ms Rae said this framework is designed to support anyone who works with people in the community sector.

The recent launch provided an encouraging sign of dedication and hopefully reassurance for anyone who is experiencing or has experienced DFV, that they are not alone and there are people who can help.

For more information about the Working Together framework and how it could be integrated into your workplace, contact the Family Relationship Centre.

If you need help you can contact IMPACT’s IFS team on 4153 4233 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am-4.30pm on Fridays.

Or phone one of the hotlines below if you need help now:

Domestic Violence Services

DV Connect: 1800 811 811

Edon Place: 4153 6820

Men’s Line: 1300 78 99 78

National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732 (1800 RESPECT).

For all other domestic violence related matters, phone Policelink on 131 444, 24 hours, 7 days a week .

Family and child safety

Child Safety Central Queensland Regional Intake Service (business hours): 1300 703 762

Child Safety (after hours): 1800 177 135

Family and Child Connect (FACC) 13 32 64 to share your concerns for families in your community.

Parenting/mental health support

Parentline: 1300 30 1300

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month – and at IMPACT Community Services support and prevention is something our Intensive Family Support team is dedicated to daily.

The IFS team provides support to families with children at risk of entering the Child Services system, families dealing with mental health and wellbeing matters, disability, child development, and issues with housing.

The majority of IFS clients have endured some form of Domestic and Family Violence, and someone who is on the frontline supporting the community is Family & Domestic Violence Specialist, case manager Sasha.

Sasha works with survivors, parents, children, perpetrators, police, and offers emotional support for people going through the court.

With experience working in this space in the United Kingdom, Sasha joined the IFS team in Bundaberg at the start of the year, bringing with her a wealth of expertise.

She said there were a lot of issues in the region and hopes more education about healthy relationships and boundaries could mean greater DFV prevention in the future.

Sasha said people need to be taught that hitting or abusing someone is not an appropriate way to get their point across.

She said people should also be aware of what stalking behaviour is.

As technology and social media creates a culture of sharing and accessibility, she said it can be difficult for some people to realise what stalking and controlling behaviour looks like.

When people are constantly sharing where they are, who they are with and what they are doing on social media, it may not be seen as controlling behaviour when a partner demands to know all this information; but it is.

Sasha said bullying and consent were two other major areas where education needed to be bolstered: understanding ‘no’, what is appropriate behaviour in a healthy relationship and personal boundaries are crucial to DFV prevention.

 She said she would like to see the Love Bites educational program introduced in schools.

For anyone experiencing DFV, the IFS team wants to hear from you. They offer numerous support options to help anyone who may be experiencing or has experienced DFV.

One of the means of support is a survivor’s group which IMPACT runs with Churches of Christ, which focuses on psychoeducation, the effects of DFV, how to move forward, and safety planning.

Sasha also holds one-on-one education sessions for individuals who may be parents with learning disabilities and children who are dealing with the fall out.

The IFS team’s support has been likened to helping you ride a bike. They put the training wheels on and teach you how to ride; they take the wheels off and stand alongside you, supporting you until you’re ready to go off on your own – and they will be there should you ever need to come back. 

To get in contact with IMPACT Community Services’ IFS team phone 4153 4233.

If you need help now – here are some useful hotlines:

Domestic Violence Services

DV Connect: 1800 811 811

Edon Place: 4153 6820

Men’s Line: 1300 78 99 78

National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732 (1800 RESPECT).

How to report a DFV incident Visit Police Website, CLICK HERE or for all other domestic violence related matters, phone Policelink on 131 444, 24 hours, 7 days a week .

Family and child safety

Child Safety Central Queensland Regional Intake Service (business hours): 1300 703 762

Child Safety (after hours): 1800 177 135

Family and Child Connect (FACC) 13 32 64 to share your concerns for families in your community.

Parenting/mental health support

Parentline: 1300 30 1300

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

When working with vulnerable people time truly is of the essence.

And one of the latest methods to ensure help arrives, fittingly, incorporates a watch.

IMPACT Community Services is collaborating with Hearts of Purple to deliver technology designed to support vulnerable people in the form of duress safety watches.

Staff working in IMPACT’s Intensive Family Support program will be kitted out with the watches for when they go into potentially dangerous environments to support families experiencing high-risk domestic family violence.

Unfortunately, DFV matters are not uncommon in the region.

More than 75% of IMPACT IFS families are being supported for current DFV or the impacts of DFV, and the rates of multiple and complex support needs for parents and children in the Bundaberg area have increased. 

With local support service system under pressure, there are waitlists, delays, no housing options and DFV refuges are full.

The watches are also an option for clients who have been assessed as living in high-risk situations.

There are a range of features, such as monitoring and alarms connected to support services, which seek to improve safety.

Key collaboration

IMPACT’s IFS Manager Melissa Clarke said, “from a team perspective it’s about collaboration with Hearts of Purple around promoting women’s safety”.

“It's not only for the team but it’s increasing people’s safety and that direct access to the best technology,” Ms Clarke said.

“Sometimes we’re travelling four hours from Bundaberg and unless we’re in range, that’s the biggest thing, we could be walking into anything and everything in any single moment.”

The IFS team members have been exposed a number of times to not only violent situations, but those involving drugs, alcohol and other abusive situations.

Ms Clarke said they will order additional watches as needed.

 While the watch is a great tool to get help, people still need to be hypervigilant and follow other security measures as the device itself is not necessarily going to save your life should violence occur.

For more information about IMPACT Community Service’s IFS program visit Home - Impact Community Services or call us on 4153 4233.

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