Award winning CHaRRT program building life-changing connections in Rockhampton

Victims of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) in Rockhampton are benefiting from an award winning multi-agency partnership aimed at improving the safety of victims and their families and holding perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions.

Relationships Australia Queensland’s Rockhampton DFV team have been the lead agency in the Coordinated High Risk Response Team (CHaRRT). Partners include the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander DFV service provider, Queensland Police, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland Health, Housing and Public Works, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, and Family and Child Connect.

Victims of DFV often experience social isolation and loneliness throughout their abuse, and by the time they come forward for help, many are suffering from a range of health and wellbeing issues.

Regional Manager Megan Quinn said that many of the behaviours used by perpetrators are psychological and emotional, and a common aspect is isolating their partner from friends and family to increase their power and control in the relationship.

“When a victim comes forward, often it’s not the first time violence has happened, and it may take many times before they’ll reach out.

“By the time victims come forward they often have very little support, no financial resources, they’ve lost friends and family, and lost confidence in their ability to live outside the relationship.

“In regional communities and small towns it’s very hard to move house and stay safe without your partner knowing where you are, and the stigma associated with DFV further isolates victims” she said.

CHaRRT was recently nominated for a Queensland Police Service Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Award and won in the Community Services category, demonstrating the impact of our program is evident to those on the frontline.

“RAQ’s funding in Rockhampton is for integrated service delivery, but not specifically a high risk team, so for us to have implemented a coordinated high risk response for victims and their families is a significant achievement.

“We’re contracted to deliver these services but nearly all of our partners participate on goodwill - the strength of those inter-agency relationships and the impact they’re having is just so rewarding” Megan said.

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