Officers from across the QPS have shown their support for this year’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month by spreading an important message with the Queensland community to stop the scourge of domestic and family violence across the state.
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home, but sadly, every day police officers across Queensland respond to emergency situations involving domestic violence.
Tragically, 15 people were killed in 2019 as a result of domestic violence. That is 15 people too many.
The theme for this year’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is Not Now. Not Ever. Together. which is why we are urging everyone to recognise the signs of domestic violence, to reach out and speak up.
When discussing this month-long event, Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Domestic and Family was a significant issue, both within the QPS and beyond.
“We [the QPS] are heavily invested in making sure that our communities are safe,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“If you get a sense or a feeling that something is not quite right, more often than not you are correct. Please report it to police and have that conversation.
"We understand that Queenslanders are facing unprecedented pressures at the moment as we prevent the spread of COVID-19, and that these changes to the way we are currently living could make it more difficult for people to reach out for help if they are in an abusive relationship or living in a violent household."
The Homicide Investigation Unit is not an area that people think about when talking about domestic and family violence prevention, but unfortunately their involvement is very real.
Detective Senior Constable Kent Ellis from the Homicide Investigation Unit said the harsh reality of a domestic violence situation that has turned into a homicide investigation is nothing short of tragic.
"I see the devastating impacts on the family, the ongoing trauma to children who effectively lose both parents. I hear the stories from friends and families who wished they had done something, said something," said Detective Senior Constable Ellis.
"This message is so important, one we rarely get to say before a tragedy, because once we're involved, it's too late.
"We know bystander intervention is hard, uncomfortable, challenging and might be rebuffed. But it could also save a life.
"One death is one too many. Don't wait for visible signs of extreme violence or escalating behaviour. It may not come."
The QPS has developed an online method for vulnerable people as an alternative contact option for non-urgent matters. You can find out more about this here: www.police.qld.gov.au/domestic-violence
Commissioner Carroll said the online contact system provided an alternative way for people to reach out for help.
This Domestic Violence Prevention Month we are asking everyone to come together and help stop domestic violence by recognising the signs and speaking out.
Head to the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month webpage to find out more about what the Queensland Government is doing to raise awareness in May 2020.
In the event of an emergency; if an incident of domestic violence is currently happening, if anyone is seriously injured or in immediate danger, contact the police on Triple Zero (000).
For all other domestic and family violence-related matters, contact Policelink on 131 444, 24 hours, 7 days a week.