Ending Domestic & Family Violence – A Community Responsibility
Domestic and Family Violence has come out of the shadows as all levels of government nurture programs designed to battle this deadly social disease which claims the lives of two Australians every week.
In 2016, the Qld State Government began a 10-year reform program to end DFV, incorporating action plans and involving various public and private community groups. A large part of this strategy is increasing community awareness.
On July 23rd Laura our Managing Director was invited to take part in an Employer’s Round Table Forum hosted by Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT) in partnership with The Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council.
Representatives from various community groups spoke on DFV and how employers and work colleagues can make a difference by identifying victims of DFV and pointing them in the right direction to access help.
Attendees heard stories of hardship and hope that DVF survivors can break away from abusive relationships, as long as they have the right support from a community that cares. We must all realise that although it may lead to an ‘uncomfortable conversation’, we should take the step to ask someone ‘Are you OK?’.
So where do we fit in as property managers and property owners? How can we help?
Property managers are in the unique position of visiting tenants’ homes and are often privy to incidents that occur behind closed doors. We are also tasked to assist DFV victims to change the conditions of their tenancies.
For this reason, the REIQ has developed a DVF Toolkit for real estate agencies, providing resources and practical advice on how to handle DFV issues in tenancies.
Property owners must meet obligations if their tenants are affected by DFV. Recent reviewing of tenancy laws has added to protections towards DFV victims which are outlined below:
- Allowing DFV victims to end leases early, or leave without penalty
- Pursuing rent debt / damage to premises
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Tenancy Database listings
- Safety modifications to a rental property
Ending DFV and other abuse is a community responsibility. Let’s stand up and say ‘Not Now, Not Ever. Together’.
For more information on the Qld Govt’s plan: https://www.csyw.qld.gov.au/resources/campaign/end-violence/third-action-plan.pdf