MEDIA RELEASE - Alarming number of kids impacted by DFV

16 May 2024





A national child protection organisation has shone a light on the alarming number of kids being impacted by Australia’s surging domestic and family violence crisis, as services struggle to keep up with demand.

DFV impacts more than 80 per cent of clients Act for Kids staff work with in delivering therapy and support services to children and families who have experienced or are at risk of harm.

The not-for-profit has joined an urgent call for communities across Australia to challenge behaviours and attitudes in society that fuel DFV, coercive control and threaten the safety of families.

Act for Kids Executive Director Service Strategy and Growth, Thomas McIntyre, said DFV – experienced by 43.8 per cent of young people aged 16 to 24 – was one of the main causes of childhood trauma.

“This organisation has more than 30 years’ experience working in trauma and greater than 80 per cent of clients we work with have been impacted by DFV,” he said.

“DFV predominantly impacts women and children and it is typically perpetrated by men against women, children, and sometimes other men,” he said.

“Like adults, children can also be victims of coercive control and experience the devastating impact of such behaviour. This can include being entrapped and harmed by the perpetrator, feeling afraid and confused.

“The result of family, domestic, and sexual violence can range from lethal outcomes to severe and enduring effects on an individual’s health, wellbeing, education, relationships, and housing situation.”

The not-for-profit employs 20 Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Practitioners who deliver focused groups for children, young people and families.

In September Act for Kids, with funding from Auto & General, launched its DFV Safe Families pilot program which works holistically with the whole family.

May marks Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month, an annual initiative in Queensland led by the community and various sectors to promote awareness and understanding of domestic and family violence as well as coercive control.

This year’s theme is: It’s in our control to end coercive control.

Help and support is available for anyone impacted by domestic and family violence.

If you are in danger, don’t feel safe, or fear for someone else’s safety, call Triple Zero (000) immediately and ask for Queensland Police.

For non-urgent police assistance, phone Policelink on 131 444.

More help is available:
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811
DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636

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For any media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact Melanie Whiting on:
M: 0427 794 666
E: melanie.whiting@actforkids.com.au