Services - Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

HOW CAN I LEAVE SAFELY?

There are many women like you who are living with or have lived with a violent person. It is common for many women and children who experience abuse to feel totally powerless. You are not alone!
If you have fears for your safety you may want to consider making a safety plan to use in case you need to leave in a hurry.

SAFETY PLAN

Talk to someone (confidentially) about your decision to stay, or whether to leave.
Decide who you will call if you feel threatened or in danger and keep their telephone numbers in a safe and handy place.
Decide where you will go if you need a safe place. Practise getting there when it is safe.
Decide what arrangements you will make to ensure the safety of your children.
Save some money for taxi or bus fares and living expenses.
Keep an extra key to your house and car.
Pack all the medication you need.
Know where all your important papers and records are so that you can find them in a hurry e.g.
If you need the family car to leave, particularly if you have children, then you may be able to take it. However, you may not legally be able to keep it, so you should get legal advice as soon as possible.
Where possible, explore new accommodation before leaving. You may have a right to part of the furniture and other household items. Seek legal advice, particularly before leaving, if possible.
The police will escort you to go back to the property to retrieve personal items. Contact the local station with identification preferably with the home address on it and ask for POLICE ASSIST.

If you want the children to live with you then take them with you, if possible. If you cannot take them get legal advice immediately.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO:

Remove your name from the property lease
Remove your name from household bills e.g. electricity, water, telephone.
Cancel any subscriptions such as Austar etc.
Contact the Department of Housing to discuss your housing options.
Speak to the principal and teachers at your child/ren/s school/s to make them aware of the situation and that you are preparing to leave.
Practise travelling to the location that you choose as a safe place when you feel safe to do so.
Obtain legal advice on separation and Protection Orders if possible. (Contact numbers over-leaf)
Open a new bank account in your name only- keeping the details confidential.
Purchase a new SIM Card or a prepaid mobile and block the number from showing on outgoing calls, only allowing trusted family/ friends the number.
Contact Centrelink to discuss crisis payment options.

ACCOMMODATION

If you do leave there are a range of options:
Staying with friends or family.
Private rental - Bond Loans and Rent Assistance are available from the Department of Housing.
Public Rental through the Department of Housing. Application forms need to be completed to register your name on the list.
All enquiries can be made to The Department of Housing (07) 4967 0888
A women’s refuge - a safe place for you and your children at a secret location.
At the refuge you only need personal belongings for you and your children. If you have to leave in a hurry the refuge will help you out with essentials.

For information and assistance contact :

Whitsunday Counselling & Support Inc Ph: 4946 2999 or
DV CONNECT on 1800 811 811 or

in an emergency call 000.
CASA (Crisis Accommodation Support Association) provides short term supported accommodation for families with dependent children. For further enquiries contact CASA (07) 4951 4299.
Community Rent Scheme- provides short to medium term accommodation. For further enquiries contact Community Rent Scheme on (07) 4957 6292


Remember: Leaving could be your most dangerous time, be cautious and have a safety plan!
Bank Books/ Credit cards/ ATM Cards
Your own and your children’s passports
Birth Certificates
Marriage Certificate
Centrelink Concession Cards
Driver’s Licence
Deeds to the house or other property
Your Will
Keys to the house & car
Your Address Book
Irreplaceable personal items e.g. Photographs, Jewellery and valuables
Consider keeping some clothing, medications, nonperishable food, important papers, keys, and some cash at a friend’s house
Evidence of the domestic violence
e.g. photos/ video etc.