Locals to shine light on DV this month

DV MONTH: Blackwater officer-in-charge Sergeant Rob Smith with Constable Andre Garbellotto and Constable Sean Mildred.
DV MONTH: Blackwater officer-in-charge Sergeant Rob Smith with Constable Andre Garbellotto and Constable Sean Mildred. Jessica Dorey

LOCAL organisations are joining forces to raise awareness for domestic violence this month.

On average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.

This horrific statistic highlights the ongoing struggle women, men and children face nation-wide.

But it's also a major issue in Central Queensland.

Over the past five years there has been a 95% increase of reported domestic violence in the Capricornia region.

Another shocking statistic, however the increase is attributed to more people willing to report incidents.

This month events will be hosted throughout Blackwater and Emerald to shine a light on DV.

Emerald police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Peter McFarlane said in previous years the campaign had led to "a significant spike in reporting after May”.

"While we continue to raise awareness in May and at other times throughout the year it won't be uncommon for the amount of calls about domestic violence to rise following the campaign,” he said.

"The more people we get involved with awareness events the easier it will be for people to get help.”

It is hoped through events such as a domestic violence breakfast with guest speaker Simone O'Brien, more people will be willing to not only speak out about domestic violence, but also be assured local organisations in the region could support them.

Blackwater police officer-in-charge Sergeant Rob Smith said people should not be afraid to approach police if they suspected, or were suffering from domestic violence.

"The Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Survey of 2012 suggests that 80% of females and 95% of males don't tell anyone when domestic and family violence occurs, let alone report the incident to police,” he said.

"The community are our eyes and ears and that is why we appeal to you to report suspected cases of domestic and family violence to police.

"Police are equipped with powers and responsibilities to investigate reports of Domestic and Family Violence to provide protection and support to victims and also to prosecute offenders.”

Blackwater and Emerald Centacare will be working with QPS and CHRC to hold the events.

Blackwater and Emerald Centacare Health and Wellbeing Services Manager Shari Jackson said the campaign allowed locals to find ways they could support people going through domestic violence, and demonstrate what services were available to locals.

"It is a significant issue in our community,” she said.

"But it is also a hidden issue.

"If the issue is hidden, there can be a lack of awareness of support opportunities available.”

Ms Jackson said Centacare encouraged anyone in the community to attend the events.

For more information about events in Blackwater and Emerald phone 1300523985 or visit the council website.

Domestic violence in CQ

Emerald May 2016-2017

-DV applications: 98

-Breaches of orders: 113

Blackwater July 2016- May 2017

-DV applications: 45

-Breaches of orders: 48

Who to call

-In an emergency: 000

-DVConnect Womensline: 1800811811

-DVConnect Mensline: 1800600636

-Kids Helpline: 1800551800

-Lifeline: 131114

-Centacare: 1300523985

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