The DVAC team consists of trained Domestic Violence Specialists and Counsellors who are experienced in specialist domestic, family, and sexual violence support to individuals who are experiencing, have experienced or who use violence in their relationships.
We acknowledge and respect that we provide services across the lands and waters of the Bundjalung, Barranggam, Jarowair, Jagera, Ugarapul and Yuggera Peoples.
We provide services from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, to people in:
Greater Ipswich including all Ipswich Metro, into Goodna, out to Laidley and just past Gatton, down to Boonah and up to Toogoolawah; and
Toowoomba including all suburbs, the Darling Downs, part of the Maranoa (excluding Roma), and the townships of Warwick, Stanthorpe, Dalby, Chinchilla, Goondiwindi, Oakey, and Pittsworth.
Telephone information, referral, advocacy and support services to women, children, and young people.
Group work for women, children, and young people.
Youth Sexual Violence Service (working with individuals aged 12 – 18 years, Toowoomba only).
Limited emergency relief: DVAC can provide some limited emergency relief packages on a case-by-case basis and do have a separate waiting room for clients to wait for refuge etc.
DVAC works closely with our communities and key stakeholders to develop and maintain an integrated response to domestic and family violence and sexual violence issues. This role involves encouraging key stakeholders to engage in collaborative responses to domestic and family violence issues throughout our community to ensure safety for women and children and accountability for people using violence.
Domestic violence specialists and volunteers provide support and advocacy to the aggrieved and the respondent (Toowoomba and Darling Downs Regional courts only) when attending court for domestic and family violence matters.
Court assistance includes:
- Referral to Duty Lawyer
- Information regarding the court process and court outcome
- Risk and safety planning
- Emotional support
- Liaising with court staff
- Referral to other agencies
A DVAC representative will be present at the following courts when domestic violence mentions are being heard:
Ipswich Magistrates Court – 43 Ellenborough Street, Ipswich 07 3470 7300
Gatton Magistrates Court – 7 William Street, Gatton Ph: 07 4617 7470
Toogoolawah Magistrates Court – Hopkins Place, Gardner Street, North, Toogoolawah Ph: 07 5423 1522
Toowoomba Magistrates Court – 159 Hume Street, Toowoomba Ph: 07 4591 4700
Warwick Magistrates Court – 88 Fitzroy Street, Warwick Ph: 07 4598 2300
Stanthorpe Magistrates Court – 51 Marsh Street, Stanthorpe Ph: 07 4681 4954
Goondiwindi Magistrates Court – 21 Herbert Street, Goondiwindi Ph: 07 4671 8500
Chinchilla Magistrates Court – Heeney Street, Chinchilla Ph: 07 4570 2100
Dalby Magistrates Court – Cnr Cunningham and Drayton Streets, Dalby Ph: 07 4596 9000
Pittsworth Magistrates – Yandilla Street, Pittsworth Ph: 07 4693 4200
Oakey Magistrates Court – 73 Campbell Street, Oakey Ph: 07 4619 4100
Our team of specialist Domestic Violence Specialists provide a non-judgmental approach to support via phone or face to face that includes:
- Practical assistance
- Risk assessment and safety planning
- Assistance to safe accommodation
- Information & advice
- Referrals to other support agencies
Women’s Health & Wellbeing
Provides trauma informed support and case management to women to claim back their life and achieve better health and wellbeing after surviving gendered violence.
- Help to access employment
- Support to access and sustain financial independence
- Access safe and stable housing
- Parenting support
- Access to mental health support services
- Education and training
- Recovery groups
Our safety upgrades program assists women and children to stay in their home rather than move, where it is safe to do so.
Using a Home Safety Audit, our Domestic Violence Specialists are able to discuss a wide variety of safety options that may include
- Safety planning
- Referral to other services
- Physical security options
- Keeping Women Safe in Their Homes – Technology Safety Upgrades
Support for Young People
Children's & Young People’s Counselling is available to children and young people aged 5–18 years who have experienced domestic or family violence.
Our counsellors have specialist experience in child and youth counselling and have an integrated approach by engaging with both the child or young person and the non-offending parent. Engagement is available through face to face or virtual appointments.
Counselling sessions support personal recovery for psychological and emotional trauma. Our counsellors use a range of tools to engage therapeutically with clients. Several counsellors are accredited in narrative and art therapy.
Sexual Violence Counselling and Support
Sexual assault is any sexual contact that is not consensual, against the person’s will, or takes advantage of a person who is not able to give consent. Sexual assault is frightening and threatening.
Examples of sexual assault include:
- forced or coerced sexual activities or sex related activities to include rape and child sexual abuse
- non-consensual forced sexual behaviour
- unwanted touching and kissing
- exhibitionism, voyeurism, stalking
- forced or coerced to watch or participate in pornography
- use of positions of power to coerce a child or vulnerable person to engage in any type of sexual activity
- sexual harassment
DVAC’s Service against Sexual Violence (SASV) supports individuals 12 years and over.
- trauma informed counselling for survivors
- case management support for survivors
- advice and referral
- group work
- support for family, friends, and caregivers of survivors
- community education
Men’s Domestic Violence Intervention Group (Toowoomba only)
Qualified experienced facilitators provide domestic violence education and support to men who use violence in their intimate partner relationships.
The program uses the Domestic Abuse Intervention Model developed in Duluth Minnesota in the USA. The program is a 27-week rolling program that covers nine themes within the Power and Control Wheel. Each session is two hours. The group is offered face to face and online via Zoom.
The program is designed to provide education on what domestic violence is and, through the themes covered in the program, to assist the participants attending to understand and change their behaviours of violence and abuse towards their partner or ex-partner.
The program prioritises women’s and children’s safety and, via a Women’s Advocate's contact with partners and ex-partners, provides feedback to Program Facilitators regarding safety concerns and changes in behaviour.
The program is designed to assist men stop the use of their violent behaviour by:
- learning new skills to deal with difficult situations
- understand their patterns of behaviour and triggers
- strategies to keep their family safe
- enhance communication
- create healthier relationships
- become a safe role model for children
DVAC has designed, created, and implemented education programs that align with the Queensland Governments Respectful Relationships Education commitment. The main objectives are to educate, empower, and to provide the opportunity to create a future that is safe, values equality and is free from violence. This education also allows communities to connect with DVAC and support services.
Being Heard, our primary prevention, domestic and sexual violence, and healthy relationships program, is delivered to junior and secondary school students. Being Heard is an active treatment approach that offers a creative and theatrical platform for young people to express their feelings, solve problems, and achieve preventative and therapeutic goals. This process will support and empower youth to build healthy, safe and respectful relationships and become positive role models. Furthermore, Being Heard has won two prestigious awards: Child Protection Week Award and the Annual Ipswich Community Safety, Crime Prevention Award.
Paint Me a Picture, has been developed to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/ questioning and Asexual+ people. The art therapy approach to the program allows for and encourages traditional & cultural practice and expression.
Community Development and Training
DVAC is committed to increasing community awareness around domestic, family, and sexual violence.
Community education events include:
- Practice Forums – interactive and informative workshops on topics related to domestic, family, and sexual violence
- Speaking at community events
- Stalls at community expos
- Domestic Violence Prevention Month activities – Candle-lighting and Remembrance Ceremony
- Sexual Violence Awareness Month activities – Reclaim the Night
- International Women’s Day
- 16 Days of Activism
- Child Protection Month
DVAC also offers fee for service training to organisations and businesses. Training is tailored to meet the specific needs of the organisation/business.
- Recognising and responding to domestic and family violence (DFV)
- Forms of abuse and cycle of violence
- Concepts of power and control and DFV
- Risk assessment and safety planning
- Effects of abuse on women, children, and young people
- Working with men who use violence