May is Domestic Violence and Family (DFV) Prevention month, dedicated to raising awareness and sending a message to perpetrators that violence is not tolerated.
The Queensland Police Service is committed to enhancing policing responses to support the vulnerable persons of our community.
Sunshine Coast police have a dedicated ‘Domestic and Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit’ (VPU), which plays a crucial role in prevention, disruption, response, and investigation of domestic violence (DV).
This unit consists of highly trained police officers who specialise in supporting victims of DFV. Our VPU is focused on early intervention of domestic violence.
The team will review and evaluate every DV incident and decide whether the victim and children need further support through external agencies to ensure their safety.
VPU will also evaluate the behaviours of the perpetrator, the frequency of DV incidents and the severity of the DV incident/s.
If these incidents are seen as escalating and the victim and children are classified as high risk the VPU will refer the incident to the DFV section.
The high-risk perpetrators are a portfolio of the DFV unit. This team focuses on victims and children who are at high risk of harm and lethality by the perpetrator.
The DFV identify and coordinate the high risk DFV referrals into the multi-agency network to ensure that there is a safety plan to reduce any further harm to the victim and children.
The VPU is dedicated to prevention and disruption of the perpetrator. The perpetrator can be referred to external agencies to participate in specialised programs addressing their behaviour and way of thinking.
These programs are designed to assist the perpetrator to develop and maintain respectful attitudes and behaviours within their family or intimate relationships. Change can be challenging, but it is very attainable.
Stopping the violence is the most important step.
This column is compiled by the Sunshine Coast District Crime Prevention Unit.