Domestic violence breaches rise by 5% in Rockhampton

Anglicare case workers Jo and Heidi talk about their work against domestic violence.
Anglicare case workers Jo and Heidi talk about their work against domestic violence. Chris Ison Rokcanglicare

IT'S a cause for concern when domestic and family violence is on the rise.

Especially when domestic violence breaches have risen by 5% in Rockhampton in the past year.

Anglicare workers Heidi and Jo see the effects of this violence every day.

The Anglicare workers spoke to The Morning Bulletin about their passion for supporting others, and how people need to be aware that help is out there.

"We are a voluntary service and when someone is referred because of domestic and family violence we contact the person affected and explain what we do and see if they want to come in and speak with us," Jo said.

"We will discuss what is happening in their lives and what support they feel they might need.

"Those wanting support might not be ready to leave their relationship; and therefore we work with them to make positive changes and to maintain their safety."

Working with domestic and family violence is all about having empathy and working alongside the person at the space where he or she is at, and providing information to show what could be possible with a life free from violence.

It's not as simple as just leaving a relationship for some people, as they may not have the skills or support needed to leave a violent or emotionally challenged relationship.

"A person may suffer long-term abuse and feel trapped," Heidi said.

"Some people think domestic and family violence is purely physical abuse but it's more than that. There is the psychological and emotional aspects as well.

"For example, they might think their partner's jealous behaviour stems from loving them. It is, however, more about wanting to control them."

The Anglicare workers show compassion on a daily basis to those in abusive and controlling relationships.

"If you look at the cycle of domestic violence, there's a build-up of tension," Jo said.

"A person will come in after the explosion stage when something's happened. After that stage, the perpetrator might show remorse and "it won't happen again".

"The relationship could appear to get back on track, but it all depends at what stage someone comes to you for help."

For Jo, the reward of the job is seeing people gain strength.

"When someone first comes in they're fearful and concerned for themselves and their loved ones," Jo said. "People go through the process with our support and each step they take they gain more and more strength."

Anglicare offers services such as case management, counselling and parenting programs.

If you or anyone you know is affected by domestic and family violence, contact Anglicare on 4922 8648.

Topics:  anglicare domestic violence

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