May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month and an opportunity for all Queenslanders to say Not now, not ever. Together.
It is an opportunity for all Queenslanders to send a clear message that violence will not be tolerated, to speak out against abuse, and to empower people to work together towards prevention.
Generally, Sunshine Coast Police unite with the local Domestic Violence support groups and place a pair of shoes on Mooloolaba Beach to represent a person who has died as a result of domestic violence.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions this was not able to be done this year, so the Sunshine Coast Police Vulnerable Persons Unit has participated by placing shoes outside a local police station.
Police are urging anyone who is experiencing domestic and family violence, or suspects it is happening, to report it. COVID-19 restrictions may have altered your circumstances and we encourage you, if you can find a safe way, to connect with police, support services, or your personal support networks.
We have introduced an online domestic and family violence reporting tool to allow those affected to make a report discreetly. You can access this tool by visiting the Queensland Police Service website and searching for Domestic Violence.
The Sunshine Coast Vulnerable Persons Unit has local specialist Domestic and Family Violence Officers and a dedicated Police Referrals network, to ensure frontline officers can provide individuals, their families and carers the option of a referral to local service providers.
We encourage the community to visit the Queensland Government's Domestic and Family Violence Portal http://(www.qld.gov.au/domesticviolence) for information on how you can stay safe, where you can find help, how you can help others, local support services and helplines available such as DVConnect Womensline (1800 811 811) and DVConnect Mensline (1800 600 636).
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, DFV support services are adapting their service delivery modes to keep women and families safe.