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Tips, links, help and resources – family and domestic violence.

Family and domestic violence impacts thousands of people across WA. It includes physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, spiritual and financial abuse, and affects people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, genders and income levels. Yet many people do not know where to get help.

We've compiled this list of resources, which includes helplines, toolkits and inspirational stories from others who have experienced family and domestic violence to help you - or someone you know - through this difficult time.

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Tips, links, help and resources – family and domestic violence.

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Violence is not always obvious. What are the signs?

Violence and abuse are the reality for far too many families. Abuse is not always obvious and no two abusive relationships look the same. Often abuse is hidden, and it’s just a gut feeling you may have that something is not quite right.

  • Don’t be silent if you see or suspect physical abuse: signs may be that they have unexplained bruises, sprains or cuts that they claim are accidents.
  • Don’t be silent if you see sexual abuse: are they being pressured to have sex against their will?.
  • Don’t be silent if you witness verbal abuse: do they get constantly ridiculed or publicly put down? Do you sense volatility in their comments?
  • Don’t be silent is you suspect emotional abuse: are they afraid to make their partner angry? Are they constantly being watched or their activities controlled?
  • Don’t be silent if you see psychological abuse: are they being separated from their friends and family? Are they suddenly more anxious or depressed?
  • Don’t be silent if you suspect financial abuse: does their partner control the family’s finances so they have no access to money or has to justify every dollar they spend?
  • Don’t be silent if you suspect technology abuse: Does their partner constantly phone or text when they are out of the house?

More resources

 

Starting the conversation if you suspect domestic violence.

You might think it’s not your place to get involved, that the violence may not be that serious, or that it’s up to them to leave. But it’s important to remember that family and domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness in Western Australia, more than 300,000 people are affected, mostly women and children. Domestic violence is never acceptable, and we all have a right to live without the fear of violence and abuse.

It takes a lot of care, support and planning to break a cycle of violence. But by showing your support you could make a big difference to someone’s life, and show them that they are not alone should they be ready to seek help.

  • Approach them respectfully. Gently ask: “I’m wondering if you’re ok”, “I notice you have some bruises. Did someone do that to you?”
  • Let them know you care and are available to listen at any time, even if not right now.
  • Listen without judgement. Believe what they say. Don’t offer opinions or excuses for the abuser.
  • Offer to support. Provide advice on where they can seek help when they are ready. Offer to stand by their side if needed.

More resources

 

Tips for being an active bystander. How not to stay silent.

Gender-biased humour or bullying is often overlooked as “just jokes” or “harmless fun”. It’s important that we understand the cycle of violence. Not all disrespect towards women results in violence but all violence starts with disrespect. We all have a role to call out all offensive or inappropriate behaviour – to stop it becoming normalised and to take the first step in ending violence towards women.

  • If you see or hear disrespectful, sexist, harassing actions or comments, don’t stay silent. Say something like “I think that comment is offensive” or “that comment was out of line”.
  • Don’t ignore office or social banter, or jokes that are blatantly sexist or violent. Say something like “That joke is offensive” or “That really isn’t funny, can you explain what you mean?”

Gender-biased jokes reinforce sexist attitudes and make disrespectful, inappropriate behaviour towards women seem more acceptable than it is. Don’t stay silent. We all have a role to play in stopping violence against women.

 

More resources

Need someone to talk to?

Dealing with family violence.

 

Planning a safe exit.

Safe housing options.

Caring for your mental health.

Protecting children’s mental health.

Services for CALD groups.

Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Managing your finances.

Getting help during COVID-19 lockdowns.

COVID-19 is having a big impact on many families so we have put together a collection of resources, tips and inspirational stories to help you navigate these difficult times.

Reaching out

  • Women’s Agenda. How to help someone experiencing violence or abuse at home during isolation.  

Mental health and wellbeing

Caring for Children

Staying fit and entertained at home

  • The Conversation: How to stay fit and active at home during the coronavirus self isolation.
  • Body and Soul: We need to talk about the mental load of self isolation.

 

Inspiring stories of life in isolation

Connection and courage the key for Sheree

As one of Ruah’s first domestic violence advocates Sheree is committed to using her experience to educate younger generations about healthy relationships and to empower other women and men to get out and build a better life.
You see, Sheree knows the cycle of domestic violence all too well. She witnessed her mother’s abuse for many years from when she was just seven-years of age. At 16, she found her ‘soulmate’ and without being aware of it at the time, entered her own abusive relationship.

Read More about Tips, links, help and resources – family and domestic violence.

Climbing mountains to a new life

If there is one thing that Tinashe has learned about herself during COVID-19, is that she truly is a people person and someone who knows the importance of open communication....

Read More about Tips, links, help and resources – family and domestic violence.

Broadcasting a message of happiness and hope

As a successful community health advocate, broadcaster and public speaker, people could be forgiven for thinking Katherine Houareau has lived a charmed life.
But after surviving five suicide attempts, years of sexual and emotional abuse and attempted murder at the hands of her former husband, the vivacious mother of two knows exactly how tough life can be.
“Good management of bad experiences is what the journey to recovery is all about and that has to start inside ourselves.”
Now, at aged 49, Kat has found her happy place. She is one of Ruah’s first domestic violence advocates and is making her mark as a champion for mental health and suicide prevention.

Read More about Tips, links, help and resources – family and domestic violence.

Finding bubbles of joy in everyday life

Housework and soap are the unlikely highlights in Azelene Williams’ life right now – and it has nothing to do with protecting her family from coronavirus.

Read More about Tips, links, help and resources – family and domestic violence.

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