Is It Really Necessary To Whitewash Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is any behavior involving physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or verbal abuse. It is any form of aggression intended to hurt, damage, or kill an intimate person.

I think if we are going to address the issue of domestic violence, we need to call it for what it is. Don’t try and make it out into something that it isn’t. Don’t try and sensationalise a particular event and fail to mention that the issue is a domestic violence issue.

Some of you may have read the below article in the Courier Mail on Tuesday (10-01-2016). It was written to imply that the home invasion was drug related. I don’t know why they wrote the article that way. Maybe they were running on a tight time schedule, maybe they made up what they didn’t know or maybe they thought it would read better as a “Drug Home Invasion”. Maybe they had other reasons unbeknown to me.

They even had a “quote” from the caretaker saying “there had been a few run-ins with drug pushers before, but nothing on this scale had ever occurred at the 12 bedroom home”. Now I can assure you this is not a quote from the caretaker. I can only assume it is a quote that the journalist constructed for the article to sensationalise the issue. There are several reasons why I believe this. They are:

The caretaker has a significant speech and thought impairment and he is simply not capable of constructing and verbalising a sentence as complex as that.

I know that boarding house well and it has never had issues with drug pushers. It is quite the opposite. If tenants use drugs, they are asked/told to leave.

It is an 8 bedroom house and not a 12 bedroom house and the caretaker would not make such a fundamental error as to its number of rooms.
The issue was a domestic violence issue. I think it is wrong to make the assumption that the perpetrators were drug pushers or even drug users. From what I have been told by people who should know, that the victims did not use drugs. I have no knowledge of whether the perpetrators were drug users or pushers. Regardless of whether they were or weren’t, the violence was due to a failed relationship.

I have spoken and spent a significant period of time with the victims of this attack (4 to 5 hours) after the event. I organised appropriate, safe accommodation. I counselled them and I made referrals to appropriate organisations. Having spent this time with the targets of this attack, I can confidently report that this was a domestic violence incident.

From what I have been told by those involved in the incident is that it is “alleged:

  1. The tenant at the property had an on again, off again relationship with girlfriend of the perpetrator of the offence.
  2. It is alleged that the girlfriend thought she might make contact with again with her former boyfriend.
  3. The current boyfriend (the perpetrator) didn’t like this idea, so he got some friends to come over and “teach the old boyfriend and his new indigenous girlfriend a lesson”.

Community Friends has had discussions with Senior Constable Sandi Trembath of the West End Police Station about the best way to deal with this situation. The police felt it was best if the couple moved on as the offenders now knew where the former boyfriend lived. The girlfriend had no fixed abode.

While I was able to negotiate with the couple to move within 30 days, I was able to facilitate this in less than a week. I found new accommodation for the male victim and I referred the female casualty to DVConnect (a domestic violence charity that is government funded). I told the woman involved to contact me if DVConnect didn’t work out. I haven’t heard from her, so I assume they were able to assist her.

I also gave her a new phone and 2 x $50 Coles vouchers (see photo) and provided the young woman with some domestic violence counselling.

In conclusion, I was very disappointed with the way this incident was reported. There seemed to be a lot of inaccuracies in the reporting. A domestic violence issue was covered up and made to look like a drug issue. The drug issue probably didn’t exist or wasn’t a factor in the story.

In consultation with the West End Police Station, Community Friends has taken appropriate action to resolve this issue.

As Community Friends receives no government funding, we were only able to give this new phone and Coles gift vouchers to this woman because of donations given by Community Friends supporters.

Thank you for supporting Community Friends.

I will ask our local member and Deputy Premier (The Honorable Jackie Trad) for her views or ideas on providing support for victims of domestic violence. Equally, I think it is important to prevent domestic violence by the perpetrators. Community Friends does this with some very frank and direct discussions and education with domestic violence perpetrators.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it is easy to identify potential domestic violence perpetrators. Those that are most likely to commit domestic violence offences are those that have committed the offences before.

If you or someone you know experiences domestic violence, DVConnect provides a 24 hour a day domestic violence hotline. Phone 1800 811 811.

If you would like to make a donation to help, you can click on the above “Donate Now” or our bank details are:

Community Friends
Bank of Queensland
BSB: 124050
Account: 21808940

Cheques can be sent to

Community Friends
27 Cameron St
Fairfield 4103

All donations are tax deductible.

I hope to publish our Christmas Day Breakfast and Lunch Story Soon.

I hope to publish our Christmas Day Breakfast and Lunch soon. We had about 500 attend over the 5 to 6 hour period.

My son, Adam McDonnell passed away on 30/12/2016 from Metastatic Appendiceal Cancer. He was 30 years old.

The work of Community Friends has continued despite any issues I may have been having. Our weekly food giveaway has persisted uninterrupted. Every 3 or 4 weeks we continue to giveaway clothes and when possible, we supply a hot meal at our food giveaway. We also assist homeless people to secure accommodation and provide them with the education they need to maintain a place to live. You may be surprised how many people do not know how to maintain their accommodation.

As always, Community Friends never charges our clients for any food or services we provide.

Please share this Domestic Violence story with your friends

Till next time

Mark McDonnell (Founder)
Community Friends.

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