WHAT IS SCOPE?
SCOPE (Suncoast Cooloola Outreach Prevention and Education) has been established to reduce the occurrence and impact of domestic and family violence, from Caloundra to Gympie and the Hinterland, Queensland.
SAFE STEPS Family Violence Response Centre provides at no cost a range of professional support services for women and children experiencing violence and abuse from a partner or ex-partner, another family member or someone close to them.
24/7 Family Violence Response1800 015 188 (Toll free)
Keeping you and your children safe whether you are still in the relationship or have left it is our priority.
If you have been threatened or you and your family are in danger now – call 000 Emergency or Police.
Family violence is unacceptable and can take many forms.
It includes behaviour that is violent, threatening, intimidating or controlling and causes you and your children to be fearful.
We know how hard it can be to make a call to seek help and to acknowledge that you are not being treated properly. You may be feeling confused, have lost confidence in your own judgement and your ability to make decisions, or to make any changes in your life.
When you call the safe steps 24/7 response service, keeping you and your children safe, whether you are still in the relationship or have left it is our priority. safe steps crisis support advocates are on hand to help you explore your options and to escape abuse.
Our services include:
Risk assessment to establish how safe you and your children are
Crisis accommodation if you are at risk and need to leave the abusive environment
Safety planning if there is risk of violence in the future and you need to leave suddenly
Support to enable you to make decisions for a safer future
Information about options, rights and entitlements
Helping you and your children to stay safely in your own home while the violent or abusive person is required by law to leave or to leave your home (sometimes temporarily) until the abuser leaves
Advocacy with support services, the police and criminal justice systems, legal services, Centrelink, schools
Referral by putting you in touch with local support agencies
Telephone support and information for non-offending family members and friends
Keeping you and your children safe whether you are still in the relationship or have left is vital. Preparing a safety plan today might help you and your children if there is a risk of violence in the future.
If you feel you are in an unsafe relationship or environment, then taking steps to plan for you and your children’s safety is an important step to assess your needs and to take control of your life.
Leaving a relationship safely and remaining safe will be more effective if you have your safety plan ready. Keep your plan and any associated paper work hidden from your partner. You can call the safe steps 24/7 response line on 1800 015 188 if you need guidance on the next steps to planning your safety.
YOUR SAFETY PLAN
A safety plan includes:
Contact numbers – keep your list of emergency help contacts handy
Where to go – have in mind a place where you and your children can go quickly, such as a friend’s house
How to get there – work out how you and your children will get there, such as being picked up by your friend, or taking a taxi or other public transport
Who to ask for help – if you can, share with supportive friends, family and neighbours what is happening. Arrange for a friend, relative or carer to come quickly when you call and help you to leave
Ready cash – if you can, keep some cash aside for emergencies
Keep valuables together – keep valuables and documents together in a safe place in case you need to leave in a hurry. These may include credit/debit cards, birth certificates, passports, medications, prescriptions, Medicare card, driver’s licence and family photographs. If you can, make copies of these documents and leave them with a trusted friend, just in case you can’t take them when you go.
If you think you and your children are at risk of violence or violence has started you need to:
- Leave the situation if possible
- Identify areas of the house where you cannot become trapped, where there are windows and doors and no weapons
- Know and practice the easiest escape routes from the house including which doors and windows provide a quick escape
- Hide a spare key to the house and car in a safe and secure place outside, together with money
- Plan where you will go in advance
- Identify a neighbour you can trust and tell about the violence; ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your house
- Develop a code or signal between you to alert them you are in danger
- Teach your children to phone 000 and practice what to say
- If it is safe (i.e. the abuser in not present) call the safe steps 24 hour response line on 1800 015 188
- Call the police as soon as it is safe to report the incident. The police can also arrange safe accommodation for you and your children
It is essential for children who live in violent environments to have a simple safety plan so they know what to do when domestic violence is occurring, this could include:
- Warning children to stay out of the conflict
- Decide ahead of time on a safe place the children can go when they feel unsafe.
- Teach children how to use Police and other emergency phone numbers
- 24/7 Family Violence Response 1800 015 188 (Toll free)
If you would like to donate or get involved with safe steps –