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Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month: 'Voices from the North'

17th May 2024

Mary Purcell, a dedicated member of the Centacare North Queensland team based in Townsville, left a lasting impact at the FRSA National Conference 2024 in Melbourne this week. The conference, renowned as a pinnacle event for the Family and Relationship Services network, unites leading practitioners, academics, and policymakers dedicated to championing the wellbeing of children, families, and communities.

Mary's presentation, titled 'Honouring their stories by learning for the future', underscores Centacare North Queensland's commitment to advancing the understanding and response to domestic violence within the family and relationship services sector. Drawing from the workshop 'Coercive Control and Red Flags for Lethality', developed by Centacare North Queensland, Mary's presentation delves into a critical yet often misunderstood aspect of domestic violence: coercive control.

Mary's presentation acts as an urgent call to action in light of the increasing homicide rates in Australia. She emphasises the crucial need for a larger number of well-prepared professionals equipped with comprehensive frameworks to address domestic and family violence. Mary's goal is to raise awareness about the necessity for practitioners to possess the expertise to discern coercive control from other forms of violence, evaluate risks, and recognise behavioural indicators pointing to potential escalation to homicide or suicide. Ultimately, she aims to empower professionals to intervene more effectively and provide comprehensive support to survivors.

Earlier this month Mary delivered the Coercive Control and Red Flags for Lethality Workshop in Mount Isa in North-West Queensland. The 16 external participants who work and live in the region attended and contributed their recommendations for addressing domestic and family violence in their own remote communities. Mary took the original handwritten butchers paper list to share at the FRSA Conference as an outcome of the 1st May 2024 Coercive Control and Red Flags for Lethality Workshop at Mount Isa.

Mary Purcell (Pictured second from left) with Centacare NQ staff before she left for the FRSA National Conference in Melbourne.

Through her dedication and expertise, Mary exemplifies Centacare North Queensland's commitment to improving outcomes for individuals and families. Her presentation at the FRSA National Conference 2024 promises to spark vital conversations and inspire meaningful action towards creating safer, more supportive communities for all.

Mary will be facilitating the next 'Coercive Control and Red Flags for Lethality' Workshop in Townsville later this month. This workshop is suitable for professionals and students who are working or are studying to work with people who are impacted by domestic and family violence as both aggrieved and respondents.

The upcoming Townsville workshop is currently booked out. However if you would like more information on the 'Coercive Control and Red Flags for Lethality' Workshop please click here.

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