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May focus on domestic violence

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month
Jason Rushton and Cr Tracey McPhee at Phoenix House, marking the start of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month

In May each year Queensland marks Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month (DFVP Month), with events planned throughout the state, including Bundaberg, showing solidarity and support for those in need.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, this year’s DFVP Month will be very different, but the message will be just as strong.

This year’s theme is “Not now, not ever. Together” and Council’s portfolio spokesperson for community services, Tracey McPhee, said the message will be well promoted.

“Council is joining with communities across Australia to send a clear message that domestic and family violence is not to be tolerated,” she said.

“We will be highlighting the importance of a community approach to domestic violence prevention by distributing information of where to go if people need help to break the cycle utilising social media, email signatures and posters.”

Edon Place service director Lyne Booth said this year will be very different.

“Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is very important to us at Edon Place Domestic and Family Violence Centre because it is an opportunity for us to raise awareness within our community about the prevention of domestic and family violence,” she said.

“This year will be challenging because of the restrictions placed on us with COVID-19 but we will be advertising the services provided by our Centre and encouraging community members affected to make contact with our service for assistance and support.”

Jason Rushton, Director of Services at Phoenix House, believes the message is important all year.

“We should be reminding our community on a more regular basis by getting the word out that ‘violence of any form is not ok’,” he said.

“We have been instrumental in being an active part of our local news reporting statistics and changes in our community behaviours, and open to creating new interactive telehealth events during this time.”

Both services believe in these challenging times it is more important than ever.

“At Edon Place we know the impact that domestic and family violence has on families, therefore it is important to us to continue our service delivery to ensure new and continuing clients are able to make contact and get support when it is needed,” Lyne said.

“We have been providing services via telephone, zoom and skype and have continued our Court based service providing support to those who have attend DV Court by utilising social distancing.”

“Since most of us are living and working from home we have become more aware of our surroundings and those who live in our neighbourhood but we as a community still have an obligation to look after each other,” Jason said. 

“I want to encourage everyone to report anything outside of the norm to the police. 

“With so many of us living in isolation we have become complacent in accepting inappropriate behaviours which affect us mentally, emotionally and physically. 

“By not reporting these inappropriate behaviours, we are allowing those individuals believing that it is acceptable, which is not OK when someone gets hurt in the process.”

As part of the month there will be Virtual Candle Lighting Vigil at 6pm on Wednesday, 6 May. You can find out more details on the DVConnect Facebook page.

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month
Lyne Booth and Edwina Rowan at Edon Place for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month
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