WE CAN HELP: Senior Constable Leigh Nancarrow at Hervey Bay Police Station.
WE CAN HELP: Senior Constable Leigh Nancarrow at Hervey Bay Police Station. Alistair Brightman

Police officer's insight into domestic violence on Coast

SPEAK up.

That is the best thing Hervey Bay residents can do to help tackle domestic violence, according to the police officers who deal with the devastating social issue every single day.

Hervey Bay police senior constable Leigh Nancarrow said one option was to speak to the suspected victim.

"If you know or hear of a neighbour who is experiencing something you believe to be family and domestic violence talk to the victim first,” Snr Const Nancarrow said.

"Domestic violence is an issue which affects all different types of people in our community and we do need people who know victims to speak out.

"Ask them how they are feeling, it goes a long way there is someone there to support them if need be.”

However, Snr Const Nancarrow stressed if you believe someone is in immediate danger, the best thing to do is call 000.

"If there is not a major incident and but you believe police need to be called you can report on Police Link 24 hours a day on 131 444 or contact your local police station,” she said.

"We will follow up with the information and investigate the matter.”

Snr Const Nancarrow explained there weren't any typical domestic violence offenders or victims.

"When we get information that domestic and family violence is occurring we do not base our assistance on gender,” she said.

"We come across all different types of situations on a daily basis and we can put people into contact with specialised services to help them.

"For example, if it is family pressure they can't cope with, we can refer them to the service they need.”

Snr Const Nancarrow said a key sign to look out for was change in the victim's behaviour.

"Sometimes they will withdraw themselves from contact with others or their body language changes,” she said.

"All of these changes happens because something makes them feel that way and asking the question 'Are you ok?' is a really good way to support them.

"A good day for us is the satisfaction in knowing we come across people at their lowest and then to see that person triumph over their difficulties.

"A really bad day for us is when a situation turns into a fatality and the devastation of it for all involved. We don't want that to happen, we want to avoid that at all costs.

"We may be police officers but we are family members ourselves.

"We are parents, brothers, sisters and we are human.

"Although we see situations - we see more negative situations on a daily basis - it still doesn't make us not human.

"We really do want to help people.

"Our message for the community is that you can do something about this, you can speak up. Just do something.”

WHO TO CALL

Local helplines

  • DV Connect Mensline: 1800 600 636
  • DV Connect Womensline: 1800 811 811
  • "Yoorana” Women's Domestic Violence & Resource Service Inc:
  • 4125 5788
  • Centracare (domestic and family violence centre): 4196 9777
  • Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre: 4194 3000

National helplines

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
  • Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800
  • Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
  • Aboriginal Family Domestic Violence Hotline: 1800 019 123