This article was first published on the HerCanberra website on 27 August 2021. DVCS extends their thanks to the team at HerCanberra for their support.
ACT is now deep into lockdown 2.0. This means people will be spending more time inside their homes, and potentially more time in dangerous situations.
We thought it might be a good time to sit down with the Chief Executive Officer of the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, Sue Webeck, and ask her to answer some of the most common questions:
Can someone leave a violent home, even though we are in lockdown?
Yes. If you are feeling unsafe in your home, you are able to leave. We encourage people to do so safely, not just in terms of COVID, but also in terms of safely leaving a violent relationship.
DVCS can certainly help people safety plan for leaving a violent relationship, including during lockdown. We encourage people to contact us to find out how we can support you to leave.
What happens if I am in isolation, quarantine or have COVID and am in a violent home? Can I leave?
Yes. If you are required to stay in isolation or quarantine and need to leave a violent relationship, we encourage you to make contact and we can support you to leave safely, both in terms of COVID and the violence.
We are working with our community and government partners to ensure we can respond to anyone’s specific circumstances during this COVID period.
When is DVCS open and how are they operating during lockdown?
DVCS is available to people 24/7. We are continuing to provide support to our community throughout this period.
Our team is available 24/7 via telephone and continuing to provide COVID compliant face to face supports with clients who need it. Those face to face supports are conducted in a COVID safe way.
All of our case management has remained in place. Some of our support groups have had to be placed on hold during this time.
What should I do if I am worried about my own safety?
If you are in immediate danger, please call 000 to contact Police, Ambulance or Fire. If you require Police attendance, please call them on 131 444.
And of course, you can contact DVCS to chat further about what’s happening for you and how we can support you throughout this time.
What should I do if I am worried about the safety of my friend, family member or colleague or someone down the road?
If the person you are worried about is in immediate danger, please call 000. Alternatively, you can call for Police attendance on 131 444.
There might be other occasions when there is no immediate danger and you just want to find out a bit more about how you can support or reach out to a family member, friend, colleague or even a neighbour. DVCS welcomes those contact too.
We want to give you all the information you need to provide appropriate support and referrals to the people you care about, so call us.
Who does DVCS support?
DVCS is an inclusive service supporting children, young people and adults who are impacted by domestic and family violence within the ACT community.
DVCS supports all people inclusive of age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, religion and socioeconomic status.
We provide support to those who are subjected to violence, those who use violence and are seeking out ways to change their behaviours and beliefs.
We provide support to those who are worried about someone else being impacted by violence too.
What sort of things does DVCS support people with?
DVCS provides crisis intervention, safety planning and access to emergency accommodation, 24/7. In addition, DVCS provides legal advocacy, case management, support groups, advocacy, awareness and education and training.
Right now, our support groups, education and training look a bit different to how they usually do but we are still connecting with people and seeing how we can meet their needs.
How can I support DVCS during this time?
Right now the best way to support DVCS is to spread the word that we are here and able to support people. Follow us on social media and share our posts.
Can you ask your employer to include our information in your staff newsletter? Or are you a teacher and could our details be included in your school newsletter?
DVCS is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, all @DVCSACT.
How can I contact DVCS?
DVCS has a range of ways you can engage with us, including: