Updates

Minister urges greater awareness of DFV risks over holiday period

Queensland Government media release

Queenslanders are being reminded by the Queensland Government that domestic and family violence (DFV) support services are available during the upcoming festive season through organisations such as DV Connect.

Minister for Women and for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the Christmas and New Year holiday period was linked to an annual spike in rates of domestic and family violence.

“Sadly, while many Queenslanders will be celebrating the festive season and enjoying a well-earned break, many women and their children will experience a heightened risk of DFV-related abuse and violence,” Minister Fentiman said.

“We are aware this escalation can be attributed to a general increase in time at home with school holidays, increased household financial pressures, alcohol or substance fuelled violence and the frequency of family visits over the holidays.

“It is also important for the community to remember that this isn’t just physical abuse, it can take many forms, including emotional, sexual, financial, social, spiritual, verbal, and psychological or technology-based abuse.

“DV Connect is a registered not-for-profit charity that provides state-wide specialist services to respond to the immediate safety needs of all victims of violence.

“It delivers an invaluable service, providing specialist crisis counselling, safety planning, emergency accommodation and travel, referrals and even safe accommodation for pets through the Pets in Crisis program.

“The organisation has been instrumental in assisting those impacted by violence during the COVID-19 health emergency, and subsequent lockdowns.

“To emphasise just how vital these services are, DV Connect’s dedicated phone services have received over 664,000 calls since early 2015 when the Not Now, Not Ever report was released, which saw issues of DFV gaining greater visibility in the community.

“The yearly number of calls has remained consistent since 2015, confirming how important their services are to victims and to our communities.

“These services are offered state-wide, and I urge those experiencing any form of DFV or abuse to be aware of their contact details and seek further information when it is safe to do so,” she said.

In 2020-21 the Queensland Government invested more than $7.7million in DV Connect to assist victims reaching out for support, with an additional contribution of $1 million from the Commonwealth Government to meet additional demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Fentiman said it was a priority to have specialist DFV services visible and within reach of any Queenslander who needed support.

“Every single Queenslander deserves to feel safe at home and in public – and addressing domestic and family violence is everyone’s responsibility,” she said.

“The message is clear – check in on your friends, family and loved ones over the school holidays and summer break and let them know help is available.”

Further information about the Queensland Government’s DFV strategy can be found here.

Minister Fentiman said primary prevention of violence group Our Watch had recently launched the second edition of Change the story – an updated, evidence-based framework to guide coordinated national action to prevent violence against women.

“The framework outlines the essential actions needed at all levels of society – from individuals to schools, from workplaces to governments – to address these underlying drivers and stop violence before it starts,” she said.

  • If you require assistance please call DV Connect Womensline (1800 811 811), Mensline (1800 600 636) or visit DV Connect.
  • If you are in immediate danger, please call Triple Zero (000).