The Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service Inc (CRDVS) began its life back in 1987 when it grew from a local, grass roots group called the Domestic Violence Action Group (DVAG). This group was made up of passionate people who volunteered their time to look at the issue of domestic violence in the Cairns area. The DVAG was made up of volunteers from Ruth's Women's Shelter, the Women's Information and Referral Centre, local lawyers, Lifeline and the Cairns Base Hospital Social Worker.
In response to the Queensland Domestic Violence Task Force report Beyond These Walls, published in 1988, the DVAG sought to establish a service model to provide interventions for people affected by domestic and family violence and funding was applied for under the Domestic Violence Initiative Programme. In 1992 the Regional Domestic Violence Service Cairns (as it was then known) became one of the first four Regional Domestic Violence Services to receive funding from the Queensland government.
At this time, the organisation sought an auspice arrangement with Lifeline but retained a volunteer reference group to maintain its strategic direction. The Regional Domestic Violence Service went on to become incorporated in September 2000 under the guidance of a volunteer management committee with expertise in legal and social aspects of domestic violence and was renamed the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service Inc.
The organisation consists of a volunteer management committee and over 20 staff members and receives funding on a triennial basis from the Queensland Department of Communities. However, the demand for services from people affected by domestic violence continues to increase and the need to raise additional revenue to meet those demands is paramount. In July 2002 the organisation was endorsed as a Public Benevolent Institutation and Deductible Gift Recipient with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).