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?
- Family violence: An overview
- Reachout: Signs of an abusive relationship
- What is financial abuse?
- Centre for Women’s Economic Safety: Facts sheets
- White Ribbon: Quick Links
- WATCH: What is domestic and family violence?
- WATCH: Let’s change the story: Violence against women in Australia
- Signs someone you know is being abused
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.
- Say It Out Loud – Bystander intervention toolkit
- When you want to help someone in a domestic violence situation
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.
Need someone to talk to?
- 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – National sexual assault, domestic violence counselling service, 24 hours
- 1800 007 339 – WA Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline
- 1800 199 008 – Crisis Care Housing and homelessness
- 13 11 14 – Lifeline Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention
- 1800 55 1800 – Kids Helpline
- 1300 78 99 76 – Mensline – emotional health and relationship support for men affected by or considering using violence. Advice about dealing with the stress and anxiety of COVID-19
- 1800 000 599 – Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline – For men concerned about their behavior and for male victims of domestic violence.
- 1800 199 888 – Sexual assault resource centre for people affected by sexual violence. Or call 6458 1828.
- 1800 184 527 – QLife Counselling: For LGBTIQ support. or webchat.
- National domestic violence hotlines.
Dealing with family violence.
- Domestic violence services in Western Australia:
- Women’s Information Services
- Safeguarding Families Safety Planning booklet. A guide to help with safety and wellbeing when experiencing abuse.
- Relationships Australia: Resources and support programs for survivors and people who have used violence
- Lifeline self-help toolkit
- Family Court of Western Australia: What you need to know about court orders
- Advice from other women on coping with abuse
- Queer without Fear (QLD) — A resource about domestic violence in LGBTIQ+ relationships
- Women’s Technology Safety and Privacy Toolkit
Planning a safe exit.
- Legal Aid WA: “When Separating” – watch a series of 8 videos and Family and domestic violence resources and support
- Safeguarding Families Safety Planning Booklet: A guide to help with safety and wellbeing when experiencing abuse.
- Relationships Australia: Safe from violence – a guide for women leaving or separating
- Relationships Australia: Safety plan
- Women’s Legal Service WA
- The Lookout Victoria – FAQs and advice for Family and Domestic Violence Workers during COVID-19
- Telstra Australia – Why understanding technology is vital in tackling domestic abuse
- Australian eSafety Commissioner – Online safety checklist for people experiencing domestic abuse, their friends and family and advice for using social media safely
Safe housing options.
- Department of Communities Safe Tenancy WA: Provides information about family and domestic violence for landlords and tenants
- Department of Communities Housing options: Provides information to clients about housing options that may be available to them including public and community housing bond assistance and rental assistance
- The Ruah Centre: Our Ruah Centre team is available for walk-through support for people experiencing homelessness who are over the age of 20. Located at 134 Aberdeen Street Northbridge (Within HepatitisWA building). Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3pm excluding public holidays. No appointment necessary.
- Entrypoint: For people who have recently lost their housing. Phone: 6496 0001 or 1800 124 684
- Harmony Place: A refuge for women and their dependent children who are leaving violent relationships. To begin the referral process, phone Crisis Care on 9223 1111.
- Kambarang Place: A refuge for Aboriginal women over the age of 18 years without dependent children. For information contact Ruah or phone 13 7828
- Ruah Housing and Homelessness services
Caring for your mental health.
- Ruah Mental Health and Wellness: Provides Information about how to access our services.
- Head to Health – The Australian Government’s new mental health portal offers information about maintaining good mental health and supporting children and loved ones. There is a section on domestic violence
- How are you feeling? Think Mental Health Check up Tool.
- Australian Psychological Society: Find a psychologist.
- Beyond Blue: Get immediate support.
- Headspace: How to get a mental health care plan.
- Headsup: Taking care of yourself and staying well.
- MyCompass: A personalised self-help tool for your mental health.
Protecting children’s mental health.
- The Respect Checklist: Checking in with your children about Family and Domestic Violence
- Family Court of Western Australia: Parenting arrangements, parenting plans and consent orders
- Patricia Giles Centre for Nonviolence: Counselling and programs for children aged 4-18 who have witnessed or experienced family violence. Phone 9300 0340
- Psychological first aid for young people
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Talking about suicide with friends and peers
Services for CALD groups.
- Multicultural Women’s Advocacy and Support: Phone (08) 9328 1200.
- Multicultural Services Centre of WA: Phone (08) 9328 2699.
- Centrelink: Multicultural and Multilingual Services Phone 131 202 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm).
- Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre: Phone (08) 9388 7455; free call 1800 659 921.
Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia: Phone (08) 9265 6666 (business hours) (08) 9265 6644 (after hours); free call: 1800 019 900
- Aboriginal Family Legal Services: Phone (08) 9355 1502; free call: 1800 469 246.
- Marnin Family Support and Legal Unit Phone: (08) 9191 5284.
- Yorgum Healing Services: Phone: (08) 9218 9477; free call: 1800 469 371.
Managing your finances.
- Services Australia: Help accessing Commonwealth Government payment and connecting to support services and social workers. Phone your local Centrelink or 132 850 and ask to speak with a social worker.
- Uniting: Accessing the Escaping Family Violence Payment.
- Australian Banking Association: Contacting your bank when you’re experiencing hardship.
- National Debt Helpline: Resources for people impacted by family and domestic violence. Phone 1800 007 007 or chat online.
- Water Corporation: Better protection and support for water service customers affected by family violence.
- Your Tookit: Information about money matters, keeping safe and leaving violent relationships.
- Consumer Credit Legal Services: Free legal advice related to financial matters Phone 9221 7066.
- Australian Energy Regulator: Information for customers experiencing hardship.
- Energy Retailer Hardship Policies: Information for customers experiencing hardship.
- Fair Work Ombudsman: Family and Domestic Violence Leave.
- Suze Orman’s Women and Money Show – Financial Empowerment Tips for Survivors of Domestic Violence. Includes free podcasts and tools (from the US)