The right to be safe

23 November 2022

The right to be safe

Salvation Army Family and Domestic Violence Services focus on prevention, restoration and healing, providing specialist family and domestic violence support to families and individuals who are experiencing or recovering from violence and/or modern slavery and forced marriage.

While The Salvation Army responds with tailored services, strong policies and advocacy, no one organisation can do it all. It is up to every one of us, from every walk of life, to take a stand against violence in all its forms.

God calls us to, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (Proverbs chapter 21, verses 8-9 New Living Translation).

As individuals, we need to understand the issues and courageously take a stand against violence on behalf of those who are suffering, not only in Australia but also internationally.

SPEAK UP AND ACT

Did you know?

  • Almost 1 in 3 (32%) Australians believe that women who do not leave their abusive partners are partly responsible for violence continuing.
  • 1 in 5 (20%) Australians believe that violence is a normal reaction to day-to-day stress.
  • Over 1 in 5 (21%) Australians agree that sometimes a woman can make a man so angry he hits her without meaning to.

What can we do?

  • Ask women you know about their experience of violence.
  • Encourage men and boys to talk about their thoughts and feelings.
  • Give men and women equal opportunities and assume that they have equal abilities.
  • Don’t laugh at jokes that put women down. Speak out against these jokes.
  • Notice when a woman is interrupted, or spoken over, and call it out.
  • Strive for gender equality in your home and place of study or work. Call out gender inequality when you see it.
  • Speak to your children about gentleness and respect and model these behaviours yourself.

The scope of family and domestic violence

Within Australia:

  • Almost 10 women a day are hospitalised for assault injuries perpetrated by a spouse or domestic partner.
  • Family and domestic violence is the biggest cause of homelessness for women and their children.
  • During the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 42% of women who had experienced violence from a partner in the past reported intimate partner violence had increased in frequency or severity.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised for domestic and family violence than non-Indigenous women.
  • Migrant and refugee women are more likely to be subjected to forms of violence that relate to uncertainty around citizenship – where perpetrators threaten them with deportation or withhold access to passports.

Globally:

  • 49 countries currently have no laws protecting women from family and domestic violence.
  • 37 countries exempt rape perpetrators from prosecution if they are married to, or eventually marry, the victim.
  • In 2020, around 47,000 women and girls died at the hands of an intimate partner or a family member. This equates to one woman, or girl, being killed every 11 minutes in their home.

BOX

Reach out for help

  • National Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Helpline (24 hours): 1800 737 732 (1800 Respect)
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

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