Domestic and Family Violence Prevention month

This week marks the start of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) prevention month – a time for us to stop and reflect on the seriousness of DFV, which continues to grow in our society.

Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin APM said that during the pandemic, people who experienced domestic and family violence may be even more vulnerable due to social distancing.

“We must all stand up and raise awareness of the devastating consequences and impacts on families and communities,” Commissioner Martin said.

“Domestic and family violence is a significant issue of concern for QCS and unfortunately, we have seen this first hand with many women in custody identifying as being the victims of abuse.

“Our officers are committed to playing a role in ending this type of violence and as an organisation, we work closely with perpetrators to address their offending behaviours.

“We also deliver rehabilitative programs focusing on violence, sexual offending, substance abuse and mental health, which have all been linked to DFV.”

Commissioner Martin said we could not lose sight of the fact that many of our colleagues, of all genders and varied backgrounds, are also personally affected by DFV.

“If you believe someone you may know – a family member, friend, work colleague or neighbour – is experiencing domestic and family violence, reach out to them and help them access the many support services available to them,” he said.

“As a department who puts tremendous value on the health and wellbeing of our officers and those in our care, we want to send a clear message – violence will not be tolerated, Not Now, Not Ever, Together,” Commissioner Martin said.

Support services include:

  • the Navita program, which consists of a dedicated, caring team of advocates in our department who can help officers seek support and safety. They can provide general support, guidance and advice such as where to find support services, accessing special leave from work or just lending an ear to listen
  • free and confidential support services through our EAP provider, SMG Health, including face-to-face, telephone and online counselling. SMG Health also provides specific advice to managers to support officers affected by DFV
  • domestic and family violence support services available externally
  • access to flexible working arrangements
  • having the workplace included in a Domestic Violence Order issued by the courts, where appropriate.

QCS has participated in the annual Darkness to Daylight CEO Challenge for a number of years. This year, the challenge has been postponed until October, and the annual National Day to Remember candle lighting vigil will be commemorated with a virtual ceremony.

QCS livestreamed the candle lighting vigil on its Facebook page on 6 May at 6pm and urged all officers to participate and honour those who have lost their lives through domestic or family violence.

For more information or to access support contact the People Capability Command on wellbeing@corrections.qld.gov.au

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