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News2018-03-27T23:03:05+10:00

FREE WEBINAR – Intimate Partner Violence: Supporting Women from Different Cultures

REGISTER NOW to attend an enriching webinar on Intimate Partner Violence – Supporting Women from Different Cultures.

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Jatinder Kaur, will discuss aspects of intimate partner violence impacting women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including:

  • Vulnerabilities and risk factors faced by migrant and refugee women
  • Holistic bio-psycho-social assessments of migrant and refugee victims of intimate partner violence
  • Cultural, linguistic and religious factors, barriers and challenges associated with intimate partner violence
  • Physical, mental and sexual-reproductive trauma and treatment options specific to migrant and refugee women who are victims of intimate partner violence

*Places are limited, register now to avoid disappointment. 

 

March 4th, 2019|

REGISTER NOW – 2019 Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum

REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPEN

We warmly invite you to join us for the 15th Annual Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum.

Date:                           Wednesday 15 – Thursday 16 May, 2019

Location:                     Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Alfred Street, Mackay QLD

Registration fees:     $475-525

**EARLY BIRD SPECIAL** – Register by Friday 12th April to receive a free forum t-shirt

The two-day forum will host experts from research, practice and community to share knowledge and introduce new approaches to increase support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacted by domestic and family violence.

Who:

This Forum is suitable for people working in:

  • Domestic and family violence;
  • Community services;
  • Child safety;
  • Community health;
  • Indigenous communities;
  • Social work;
  • Counselling;
  • Justice;
  • Probation/ Parole;
  • Others with an interest in this area

The Forum is hosted by Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research

Why should you attend this forum:

By sharing knowledge from research and community, together we can increase support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacted by domestic and family violence.

By attending this Forum, you can expect to gain understanding about the different service delivery approaches required when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

The Forum provides an opportunity for workers providing domestic, family and sexual violence support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to come together to share information supporting informed practice.

The Forum will introduce new and different approaches based on research and evidence to inform practice when responding to this type of violence.

Register now at https://noviolence.org.au/events/our-events/

February 1st, 2019|

Farewell, Silke!

Dr Silke Meyer

It is with regret that we are saying goodbye to Dr Silke Meyer from CQUniversity and the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research from January 2019. Silke joined CQUniversity in 2015 as our first lecturer in the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Domestic and Family Violence Practice.  Silke was instrumental in designing and establishing these postgraduate qualifications. Silke had practice experience as a social worker prior to completing a PhD at Griffith University on the help-seeking decisions of women impacted by intimate partner violence. Since completing the PhD Silke has published widely in the area of intimate partner violence and criminal justice responses.

In recent years Silke’s work has focussed on the role of fathering and intimate partner violence as she has led two major Queensland Government sponsored evaluations of the Caring Dads and Walking with Dads programmes. During the last two years Silke has been a member of the Queensland Domestic Violence Death Review Board. In addition to Silke’s breadth of involvement in endeavouring to bring about change in domestic and family violence policy and responses she has been a wonderful colleague and contributor to the work of the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.

The association of the domestic violence postgraduate teaching programme with the Centre has created unique opportunities for students to benefit from Silke’s active participation in cutting edge research and practice. We all wish Silke a smooth transition to Melbourne. Along with many others we are going to miss her understanding, her willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ and to support the collaborative teams of the centre.

January 23rd, 2019|

Thinking of study in 2019?

Term 1 commences on the 11th March, 2019… and yes, we know… that sounds like ages away but… it’s easy to get consumed in planning for Christmas, getting ready for school holidays, or perhaps you just feel too tired after work?

Before you know it, the summer’s nearly over and February is on the horizon- so why not start planning now for a smooth transition into life as a postgraduate student?

CQUniversity offers these specialist courses:

CV74 Graduate Certificate in Domestic and Family Violence Practice

CH81 Graduate Certificate in Facilitating Men’s Behaviour Change

CV79 Graduate Diploma of Domestic and Family Violence Practice

CL23 Master of Domestic and Family Violence Practice

You can learn more about the application process to become a CQU student here.

November 23rd, 2018|

Let’s Not Forget

November is a time when we remember those who are no longer with us… whether it be through recognition of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” or the Christian calendar, which calls November the “Month of Remembrance”.  Many readers too will have encountered the Mexican tradition of “Day of the Dead”.  For those who work in the area of promoting women’s safety, it is also the month when we pause to remember the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration in 1999 of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In more recent years, the 25th November is marked by many as White Ribbon Day, a time to challenge men to speak out against violence against women.  This campaign began in 1991 when Canadian men commemorated the second anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.  Yet the origins of the 25th November as a day to “remember” are much older, and this date has been observed in Latin America, since at least 1981, as the “Day for Non-Violence Against Women”.

This is an adaptation of a Re@der story from 2014 which bears re-telling…

It was in July of 1981 that the first Feminist Encounter of Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Bogotá, Colombia.  At this conference the 25th November was selected as a day of commemoration, a tribute to the lives of the Dominican Republic’s Mirabal sisters, murdered in 1960.  The decades since the deaths of the Mirabal women had seen Latin America dominated by dictatorships and military rule, and consequently violence against women was prevalent not only in the family and community, but also perpetrated by state security forces.  So it is unsurprising that “women delegates at the (1981) conference denounced domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment as well as violence against women perpetrated by the State, including torture and disappearances of women political prisoners” (Robinson 2006a).

Who were the Mirabal sisters?  The women were known throughout their homeland by their code name, “las mariposas,” (meaning “the butterflies”).  They were born into privileged circumstances: Patria in 1924, Dedé in 1925, Minerva in 1926, and María Teresa, nine years later.  While the older girls were quite young, Rafael Trujillo became the dictator of the Dominican Republic in 1930.  His reign was brutal, and thousands of those who opposed him were tortured and killed.  When he was a young adult, after discussion with her family, Minerva decided to resist Trujillo’s regime and with her sisters she joined an underground movement.

Meanwhile, Minerva studied law, and although she was awarded her degree, she was denied a license to practice, because she had rejected Trujillo’s sexual advances (Robinson 2006).  It has been suggested that this refusal drove Trujillo’s obsession with humiliating her: “a psychological war of fear… abuse and sexual harassment became an instrument used by Trujillo against women such as Minerva and their families.  It constituted a manifestation of absolute power.” (Robinson 2006a).

The Mirabal sisters went on to marry men who were also opposed to Trujillo and the women and their spouses experienced repeated imprisonment, and on occasions, the men were tortured.  On 25th November 1960 Patria, Minerva and María Teresa visited their gaoled husbands, and upon their return, Trujillo’s henchmen intercepted their car on an isolated mountain road.  Accounts vary as to what happened next, but the result was indisputable (Pineda-Madrid 2011; Robinson 2006a).  The three sisters, and their driver, were either beaten and/ or strangled to death by the secret agents, and their vehicle was thrown off a cliff to feign an accident.

The following year Trujillo himself was assassinated.  Manley (2012) notes that although other women were far from absent from the transition that led to Trujillo’s murder, it is arguable that the slaying of the sisters was the breaking point for his long dictatorship: this was an assault on Dominican national morality, the women’s deaths representing Trujillo’s failure to “protect the sanctity of the home, embodied symbolically by women and women as mothers”.  The fourth butterfly, Dedé, passed away in 2014, at the age of 88.  Her life was dedicated to ensuring the enduring of her sisters’ legacy, and caring for their six children.

Historical research has failed to gauge the importance of this single event in galvanizing national sentiment against Trujillo, who was assassinated six months later. This might be attributed to the fact that they were seen as women who did not measure up in importance to other events… in determining Trujillo’s downfall. Nor has their legacy been seriously examined until recently, despite the fact that they left a very deep imprint on Dominican consciousness: virtually all Dominican towns today have some commemorative marker, school or main street bearing their names. (Robinson, 2006b, 173)

 

November 22nd, 2018|

Domestic Violence Trainers Hit the Road

The past weeks have been all-consuming for the trainers and those who assist them at QCDFVR.  By the end of November, the Common Risk and Safety Framework (CRASF) Training will have been delivered in Brisbane, Logan, Moreton, Mackay, Cairns, and Mount Isa, with Ipswich and Cherbourg to follow in December.  As well, stakeholders in six of these sites will have had access to a tailored Professional Development Workshop, facilitated by Mark Walters, prior to the Christmas break.  Mark and Judy Pidcock have been on the road and in the air for most of the past months, taking CRASF, and other training, around the big state we call home.

It has been a feat of coordination on the part of Janine, Margaret and Maree to arrange the venues and catering for each CRASF session, and coordinate attendee registrations and trainer travel and accommodation.  Thank you to the team for a wonderful effort.

On a number of occasions I’ve had the privilege of joining in these sessions.  I continue to be inspired by the diversity of skills and talent of those who are working in the sector.  The women and children of Queensland have great champions on the frontline.  Their work is complemented by that of their counterparts, working tirelessly to hold the perpetrators of domestic and family violence to account for their actions.

Among the other learning I’ve taken from my visits to sites is how much our education and training is valued.  For example, one stakeholder in western Queensland who had just completed CQUniversity’s Postgraduate Diploma in Domestic and Family Violence Practice described it as “wonderful” and added on how much it had helped them in their role with the local High Risk Team.

A matter of days later, this (unsolicited!) email arrived in my in-box from an organisation who has accessed training from CQU through QCDFVR over recent years:

We value our relationship with Central Queensland University and we look forward progressing this productive relationship.  The leadership from CQU demonstrates the willingness of CQU to support industry partnerships that promote proactive approaches to addressing violence in our communities and to seeking to address violence against women and children.  As an organisation that works with many of the women and children who have been adversely affected by domestic and family violence we welcome the opportunity to partner with CQU and to continue to work toward creating communities where violence no longer exists.

We also value the commitment from CQU to the professional development of our employees. I have also realised that over the past few years that Judy has come to be viewed as a quasi-employee… with a number of people talking about how much they admire Judy and respect her as a training facilitator.

Meanwhile, our trainers in the Brisbane South PHN catchment area have continued to inform and enthuse the staff of general practices to play their part in recognising and responding to domestic and family violence.

In effect, this means that over the course of 2018 alone, the QCDFVR training crew has influenced a vast range of disciplines- social workers, nurses, counsellors, psychologists, teachers, doctors, and other allied health professionals and support personnel- to understand more about violence against women.  The need for more education has been acknowledged in a raft of contemporary policies, and across disciplines- but there is much work to be done!

So I’ll leave the “last words” to a neat summary from our colleagues in the social work field- where it has been recognised that it is time for

… researchers, educators, and practitioners to educate current students and veteran social workers regarding domestic violence… It has been over 10 years since social workers who were working with survivors of domestic violence and conducting research in the area issued a call to their colleagues to lead the way in addressing the issue of domestic violence and to intervene accordingly. Let us act now. The social work profession is poised to ensure that we are educating all of our workers on the history and prevalence of domestic violence as well as how to appropriately connect clients to resources, options, and appropriate intervention strategies. Crabtree-Nelson, Grossman & Lundy, 2016, p. 360

 

Crabtree-Nelson, S., Grossman, S., & Lundy, M. (2016). A Call to Action: Domestic Violence Education in Social Work. Social Work, 61(4), 359-362.

 

November 22nd, 2018|

Speak Up and Speak Out

This week, we reached out to stalwart domestic violence advocate and CEO of the Red Rose Foundation, Betty Taylor.  Betty was typically generous with her time and in sharing the rich knowledge she has developed after almost 30 years working across the domestic violence sector.  Betty spoke about what it means to be an activist, why it continues to be necessary and about the legacy of the Red Rose Rallies.

Q. This Sunday, 25th November marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. What does activism mean to you?

A. Activism to me means taking social action around an identified problem. In terms of violence against women, I have always loved the United Nations mantra: Think Globally, Act Locally. Addressing violence against women in the context of activism, we can’t work with women on an individual basis without wanting to change the systems of oppression that impact violence against women.  We hear lots of talk about how to empower women, but what they really want and need is to be liberated.  Our patriarchal system of society dominates women in all spheres of their lives – public and private.  We can work with a women in a relationship and help her to escape that violence, but still, she is not safe – not safe on the street, at work…  Activism is all about trying to change those systems and structures.

 

Q. A simultaneous Red Rose Rally was held in Brisbane, Cairns, Mackay and Melbourne recently with hundreds attending to honour the 12 women who lost their lives to family violence in October. Describe how it feels to have created a legacy that so many people now get behind and get involved in.

A. We started holding Red Rose Rallies 10 years ago, and have consistently held one following each death of a woman. The Rallies are not a protest; they are marking the outrage that is part of activism in saying here’s another women that’s died and another women that’s died. We have conversations about strawberries and about sharks but at what point does violence against women become a national crisis?  To see the Rallies grow and to be supported by both sides of parliament, with more social media reporting now – it is leading to more awareness.  We are keeping the conversation going.

 

Q. In 2008, you wrote a discussion paper titled ‘Dying to be Heard’ as part of your work on the Domestic Violence Death Review Action Group. What can each of us do, to be voices for those women no longer with us?

A. Ten years on and sadly women and children are still Dying to be Heard. We know that domestic and family violence deaths are largely predictable and preventable. We best honour those who have died by working for change on a political and societal level so that violence and abuse is not tolerated or excused ever/ anywhere. Challenging the status quo is the central core of social reform. There are however many ways to do this: campaigns involving lobbying and petitioning; protests; street demonstrations; and other methods. For the Red Rose Foundation this is a combination of Red Rose Rallies which provides a public space to remember those who have died while also bringing to public attention that stark reality of the enormous toll of violence against women.

 

Q. Is there still a need for activists in the context of violence against women?

A. There are still too many women living with horrendous violence and we owe it to them to speak up and speak out.

 

About the Red Rose Foundation

The Red Rose Foundation actively works to end domestic and family violence related deaths in Australia including homicide, suicide and accidental deaths that arise from incidents and/ or histories of domestic violence.

 

November 21st, 2018|

Violence and Incarceration – Factors for men, North Queensland.

After countless hours, Bronwyn Honorato – Research Worker at Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research last month submitted her PhD for review.  Bronwyn’s thesis, titled ‘Risk and Protective Factors for Violence Behaviour and Incarceration for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Men in North Queensland’ is a particularly poignant work.

 

Abstract

Risk and Protective Factors for Violent Behaviour and Incarceration for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Men in North Queensland

 

This project explored risk and protective factors for violence and incarceration for men in North Queensland, including Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands.

 

Interviews were conducted with 39 participants, including 19 prison inmates. Two thirds of the sample identified as Indigenous Australian. The most common risk factor themes mentioned included adverse family and childhood, mental health, personality, peer group/social influences and witnessing or a history of violence. The most common protective themes included positive childhood role models and mentors, personal attributes, and family and childhood experiences. Further, for inmates, a common trajectory from trauma to incarceration was identified. This included experiencing childhood or adolescent trauma, a lack of support or treatment, substance abuse to mask the pain, and a ‘brain snap’ leading to violent offending and incarceration.

 

A further 85 men including 36 prison inmates completed a survey. Of the 85 participants, 30 identified as Indigenous Australian. Frequent cannabis use was found to significantly increase the risk of perpetration of violence towards others, while a higher education level reduced the risk. When comparing cultural groups, significant associations were revealed for alcohol and cannabis use and violence for non-Indigenous, but not for Indigenous participants. Risk factors for incarceration included regular cannabis use and religious beliefs, while higher education levels, positive childhood events and being in a relationship were protective. Significant associations between religious beliefs and incarceration were found for Indigenous but not for non-Indigenous participants; while alcohol and cannabis use were significantly associated with incarceration for non-Indigenous, but not Indigenous participants.

 

This was one of the first explorative studies of this kind conducted in North Queensland with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, including prison inmates. Early intervention and treatment efforts focusing on young males, particularly users, or those at risk of using cannabis, may assist to reduce violence and incarceration rates for future generations in this region. The importance of social determinants, including childhood upbringing and experiences, and education to a tertiary or vocational level were highlighted in this study. The socioeconomic indicators of regional and remote communities, particularly Indigenous communities, are often far worse than urban populations, with little or no constructive economic activity, educational, or employment options available. Assisting men to gain meaningful employment, identifying needs, and developing individual strengths to reduce offending and incarceration may allow more men to become constructive, functioning contributors to society.

September 27th, 2018|

The Relationship between Gambling and Domestic Violence Against Women

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research is working in partnership with CQUniversity and the Australian Institute of Family Studies to conduct a national study examining the relationship between gambling and domestic violence (DV) against women.  This includes physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse.

 

Time frame:                01/06/2018 – 30/06/2019

 

Funding:                      Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)

 

Research Team:          Professor Nerilee Hing (Chief Investigator), Professor Annabel Taylor, Dr Andrew Frost, Nancy Greer, Hannah Thorne

 

Contact:                      Nancy Greer or Hannah Thorne

cqustudy@cqu.edu.au

September 27th, 2018|

The Role of Fatherhood Identity in Perpetrator Interventions

Dr Silke Meyer is a Senior Lecturer with the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.  Dr Meyer has recently undertaken research on men’s compliance with Domestic Violence Orders and the role of fatherhood identity in perpetrator interventions, drawing upon her background in criminology and social work.

Dr Meyer is passionate about victims’ and children’s wellbeing and advocacy for holistic responses to domestic and family violence.  Recently, she has been the chief investigator evaluating two Queensland-based programs that look closely at the behaviour of fathers who have exposed their children to domestic and family violence (DFV)

 

Caring Dads program evaluation

The Caring Dads program, developed in Canada, is being trialled in Queensland from 2017-2019. The evaluation is currently in the early stages of its second year and will be completed in late 2019.

The evaluation captures data from male program participants, (ex) partners, referral agencies and other community stakeholders involved in responding to fathers who have exposed their children to DFV.

“Collecting data from program participants and where possible (ex) partners across three trial rounds, we are starting to get some insights into what motivates fathers to attend the program, how fathers view the impact of their behaviour on women and children and where the program may be able to contribute to behaviour change.” Dr Meyer said.

Interviews conducted with a variety of community stakeholders and referral partners highlights the need for programs that address the intersection of fatherhood, DFV and child wellbeing while prioritising women and children’s safety along with perpetrator accountability.

 

Walking with Dads evaluation

Walking with Dads is a Child Safety approach towards DFV informed practice that holds perpetrators of DFV accountable in their role as fathers while supporting mothers and children towards short and long-term safety and wellbeing. Its trial sites include Caboolture, Caloundra, Gympie and Mt Isa.

The evaluation aims to identify the nature and extent of practice shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection and its impact on the safety and wellbeing of families affected.

Dr Meyer commented that “We are currently in the second and final year of data collection with mothers, fathers, Child Safety staff and community stakeholders.”

The Walking with Dads evaluation has been an action research journey to ensure that organisational and community input along with individual participants continue to shape both research design and implementation.

This evaluation has been an exciting opportunity to observe emerging practice and language shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection. Data collection with parents is ongoing, with follow up interviews and surveys to be completed at the end of 2018.

 

For more information about these evaluation projects, please contact Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research on 07 4940 3320 or qcdfvronline@cqu.edu.au.

September 27th, 2018|