6) Not all domestic violence is the same. There is no single profile. If you notice early behaviour of a boy, young man or grown man that is intimidating to a woman, encourage him to seek intensive counselling. These controlling, and destructive defence mechanisms can be altered, re-education is possible and so is a positive growth mindset. This does not have to be concreted in, it can be changed, but we need to be very aware and have a low tolerance, and act quickly. Put simply; it must be, otherwise actions transform into senseless, murderous and rage filled inexcusable heinous crimes.
7) If someone begins to tell you their story and it’s uncomfortable, please hold the space for them.
It will be uncomfortable. These things aren’t nice to hear. But there should be no such thing as feeling you are oversharing when you have chosen people to be vulnerable with and hear your story. Positive communication is the heart of every healing and the continuation of a healthy species. If someone brings this up, don’t get weird because the vibe dropped at a dinner party, feel honoured that this person chose this time and place for their voice to be heard. It might just be a whisper. But allow.
8) Regular reporting and accurate profiling and exercising the proper use of the judicial system. If he’s been violent and he breaks his AVO, lock him up. Lock him up, or pay for the funerals and visit their graves every single day of the rest of your life and ask yourself why this woman or child is no longer here.
9) SPEAK UP—this way the validating testimonial can be used to establish the truth.
The statistics scream across the lands: it is women and children that are dying by the hands of men. It is women and children who are being abused by men in epic proportions and have done for a very long time. Men can and do suffer from domestic violence, however, our pondering here is where the proof shows the biggest threat. Let’s change this NOW.
If you are in immediate danger you should leave and seek police assistance.
IF YOU ARE AT RISK YOU NEED A PLAN. When women leave, they are at their highest risk of harm, so be smart and back yourself. Leave at a safe time. Get a support network, seek legal advice. Do your research and find out where you can go if you have to do it urgently. Save money he does not know about, keep it somewhere he cannot find or with a trusted relative. Have a trusted person know where you are, and inform police but keep your profile low. Do not use social media, and if you are in a controlled relationship, one where you may not be physically hurt but are being threatened, don’t risk it. Some women don’t see it coming and never believe he can go to that level. Keep records of threatening text messages, and report incidences always. A trail means evidence, and establishing evidence for yourself if needed is another means of backing yourself. Keep yourself safe. For more tips see this resource: https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/domestic-violence/stay-safe/leaving-safely
What do we need from our leaders?
Better equipped shelters that can take more women and children and give them privacy along with instant access to counselling, food, clothing and a monetary fund of emergency assistance money. It needs to be unbreakable, consistent and available AT ALL TIMES. Let us also include comprehensive free counselling by the best professionals, and children must not be handballed from case manager to case manager like a tennis ball. This would be an excellent area for increasing private social enterprise investment.
Safehouses for those at risk; I know several people whom by word of mouth have spare rooms, or separate dwellings available for women hiding with their children, with only a handful of people know the whereabouts, and secure anonymity is provided. Let’s make this a national scheme.
Use the laws we have to prosecute with accuracy and swiftness! Our judicial system needs to step up, the entire show needs to. For God’s sake, what the actual F? My experience was over 30 years ago, yet here we are.
We need to obliterate the stigma, identify the threat and step up, speak out and reverse engineer our perceptions- one that helps to triage domestic violence to the point of it becoming a rarity. The cycle can and does stop. I am a testament to this. You can absolutely change a woman’s life, a child’s life and redirect the path into wonderful. You change a man’s life too. But it starts with you. Fuck the small talk.
For Hannah and the many before you x
If you are in danger, ring 000 or go directly to your nearest police station.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
https://www.safesteps.org.au – We assist women and their children experiencing family violence through our 24/7 phone line and specialist support services. 24/7 family violence response phone line
1800 015 188
Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25). More information is available at Beyond Blue.org.au and lifeline.org.au.
The Orange Door is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children.
You should contact The Orange Door if:
- someone close to you is hurting you, controlling you or making you feel afraid – such as your partner, family member, carer or parent(s)
- you are a child or young person who doesn’t have what you need to be OK
- you are worried about the safety of a friend or family member
- you need more support with the care of children, e.g. due to money issues, illness, addiction, grief, isolation or conflict
- you are worried about the safety of a child or young person
- you need help to change your behaviour and stop using violence in your relationships
The Orange Door can work with you on your own, or together with your family members depending on your situation. The Orange Door welcomes everyone, regardless of migration status. You can seek help or support if you are a migrant or a refugee or do not have permanent residency. Workers at The Orange Door also know that people continue to be affected by family violence long after the violence stops. If you have experienced family violence in the past and would like help now, contact The Orange Door.
The Women’s House is a welcoming, safe and supportive engagement hub tailored to the needs of all women (trans and cis) who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless.
We strongly welcome Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women to our space. The Women’s House recognises that a gender-specific response is needed to address homelessness. Women who access the house may be socially isolated, in crisis or experiencing housing difficulties due to a range of reasons, including family violence, poverty, sexual violence, physical and mental illness, trauma and problematic drug and alcohol use.
DVConnect is a not-for-profit organisation that has provided state-wide specialist domestic, family and sexual violence crisis counselling, intervention, information and pathways to safety (emergency housing and refuge) for over 18 years.
DVConnect operates four telephone helplines; they are Womensline, Mensline, Sexual Assault Helpline, Pets In Crisis and 1800 RESPECT (Queensland operator).
The Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre is a service of the St Vincent de Paul Society SA, to complement our existing men’s shelter and support women with short term, emergency accommodation. Guests must be referred by government and agency channels, which include the domestic violence help line and the South Australian Police. The Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre is unable to accept private bookings.
Crisis Care is a telephone information and counselling service for people in crisis needing urgent help. It operates 24 hours, seven days a week.
Crisis Care can be accessed through the translating and interpreting service on 13 14 50.
Telephone (08) 9223 1111
1800 199 008 (country free call)
Dawn House Women’s Shelter provides safe and secure crisis accommodation for women with accompanying children escaping domestic violence in their homes or community.
Hobart Women’s Shelter provides support and a coordinated approach to assist women and children to address their housing, legal, emotional support, health, education, employment, financial support and other needs. Please feel free to call us on 03 6273 8455 between the hours of 9am and 5pm – Monday to Friday.