Domestic Violence month puts focus on pets
The need for self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that Australian women are experiencing domestic and family violence at an increased rate.
May is domestic and family violence prevention month (DFVP Month) and the aim of the month is to raise awareness and send a clear message that domestic and family violence will not be tolerated.
Research shows that up to 25% of people in violent situations who have a pet, may remain in that situation because of concerns for the welfare of their pet.
According to Tablelands Patrol Inspector Russell Rhodes sometimes pets can be a barrier to leaving a domestic violence situation.
“Pets are often a forgotten element in family situations experiencing domestic violence. Pets are often abused, beaten or tortured as part of the spectrum of domestic violence.“
Inspector Rhodes says there is now a way for anyone to leave a domestic violence situation and know that their pet will be cared for “DV Connect works closely with RSPCA providing safe accommodation for pets whose families are escaping domestic violence.” he said
“Knowing that their pets will be cared for and that they can be reunited as soon as they can get back on their feet is sometimes the catalyst for many women having the courage to take that vital step towards leaving a violent domestic situation and protecting themselves and their children. “
DVConnect is a not-for-profit organisation that provides family and sexual violence crisis counselling, intervention, information, safety planning and pathways to safety as well as operating four specialist telephone helplines.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was more important than ever to support people experiencing domestic and family violence and deliver essential services within the new reality of the Coronavirus.
“The global COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, leaving many people feeling isolated and it is essential that people experiencing domestic and family violence know how to access support at this time,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
For more information on pets in crisis or how to help foster a pet, visit: http://www.dvconnect.org/home/pets-in-crisis/
DFV support services have developed an online domestic and family violence reporting tool allowing discreet reporting. To access go to (https://www.police.qld.gov.au/domestic-violence)
Other ways to report and receive support for domestic violence or for anyone who suspects domestic and family violence:
In an Emergency Call triple zero (000),\
DV Connect Womensline – 1800 811 811
DV Connect Mensline – 1800 600 636