Each May, Queensland marks Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month to raise community awareness and to send a clear message that domestic and family violence in families and homes will not be tolerated. The arrival of COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on our lives has meant that, now more than ever, it is important to know that there is support available to you if you or your family are affected by domestic and family violence.
During this time, we are being asked to stay home to save lives, but sadly, home may not be a safe place for some. If you or a child is at risk of being exposed to family violence during this epidemic, you are not alone.
Many people are facing not only the unprecedented health risks associated with COVID-19, but the risk of increased conflict and family violence resulting from social isolation and family confinement and other factors such as uncertainty and financial despair.
Experts are warning that dealing with these added stressors will cause family violence to escalate.
There have been reports from China that family violence incidents tripled during the outbreak and the Australian Government has acknowledged the increased risks by granting millions more in funding to Domestic Violence Services throughout Australia.
If you are at risk, services are available for you to access, despite social distancing and quarantine requirements.
If you or your child are in imminent danger, you should contact the Queensland Police Service by calling Triple Zero (000).
If you have a domestic or family violence matter that is not urgent the Queensland Police Service have a new platform for non urgent matters. Services and support can be found on their website HERE or they can be contacted on 131 444. Alternatively you can make contact with a police officer or police station by completing an online form found HERE.
The Queensland Government DV Connect hotlines for Men and Women continue to be available 24/7 with an added health assessment regarding COVID19. Further information, services and support can be found on their website HERE. Or by calling DV Connect Mensline on 1800 600 636 or DV Connect Womensline on 1800 811 811
If you need assistance with emergency housing or access to a women’s shelter, you can find more information HERE.
We are still able to assist parties to bring an urgent Application for a Protection Order.
Magistrates in the Queensland Magistrates Courts are still presiding in various Courts, and there will continue to be physical appearances by Applicants or their lawyers for urgent, private, domestic violence matters, in order to have urgent Temporary Orders made where necessary.
In some cases, you may be able to seek an Ouster Order, which requires a party to leave the home.
We have received the following advice from Women Legal Service, which you may find helpful:
- 1800RESPECT and DVConnect are still operating 24/7 and refuges are still accepting referrals.
- Safer Lives are still operating (mostly by phone) for women in motels.
- 1800RESPECT has been given a funding boost to respond – this is primarily safety planning and counselling support. A significant barrier will be for women to be able to make those calls safely if the perpetrator is at home.
- Refuges are still available and parties should contact DVConnect, 1800 RESPECT and police.
The Brisbane Domestic Violence Service also have a very informative fact sheet available HERE.
Our Solicitors are available via email, telephone and Zoom to speak with you. We remain available and committed to ensuring that you reach a speedy resolution in relation to your parenting matters.
If you have any concerns about your domestic violence matters, please contact us today on (07) 3532 3826 to arrange a $300 fixed fee initial consultation with Lauren Finlayson, Special Counsel here at Parry Coates Family Law.