'Enough is enough': Life-saving trend taking hold of Gladstone
GIVE yourself a pat on the back, Gladstone.
We're looking out for our mates, our family members and even those we don't know, in an effort to put an end to domestic violence.
We've come a long way towards breaking down the stigma, and now more people than ever are comfortable reporting situations that don't seem right.
Gladstone police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Jamie Goodwin said it was "refreshing" domestic violence was becoming a community issue, rather than a private one.
"We get calls from members of the public who don't even know the people involved, who are on the look out for domestic violence," Snr Sgt Goodwin said.
"Those members of the public are now willing to provide statements to help us.
"So in that regards, it's a really positive step the community has taken.
"Gladstone as a whole is very supportive and very willing to support police in protecting (victims) and bringing those matters to court."
Snr Sgt Goodwin said although the campaign against domestic violence had come along way, there was more work to be done.
"It can't be private, it can't be a problem kept inside the house," he said.
"This needs to be out in the open and we need to accept domestic violence is happening, not only in Gladstone but across the state.
"It's up to police, the courts, support agencies, the media, all of us to raise awareness.
"And it's up to the community to say enough is enough, we're not going to tolerate this any more."
Snr Sgt Goodwin said increased reporting was probably linked to people better understanding what domestic violence actually was.
"People are now engaging with their support services, engaging with their local police and identifying 'this isn't good, this is not the right behaviour'," he said. "People are far less tolerant of that behaviour than they were five, 10 or 15 years ago.
"It doesn't matter who you are or what background you come from, whether it's violence, property damage, intimidation, harassment, or controlling behaviour, it doesn't matter who's perpetrating it - it's unacceptable."
Snr Sgt Goodwin said it was natural for families to want to protect each other, but violent behaviour needed to be addressed.
"In the past there has been a lot of hidden domestic violence and a lot of occasions where we talk to people and they're reluctant to come forward," he said. "But with the amount of awareness and education that's being undertaken at the moment, there shouldn't be a stigma attached to reporting domestic violence.
"Everyone has a right to live safely in their own home."
*For 24-hour support in Queensland phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.