We believe everyone deserves to live in safety and security, free from violence. Family and domestic violence (FDV) takes many forms, including physical, sexual, financial, emotional, psychological and imaged-based abuse. A key characteristic of FDV is the use of violence or other forms of abuse to control someone with whom the perpetrator has an intimate or family relationship.
Anglicare WA is contributing to meaningful and lasting cultural change to make Australia a safer and fairer place for all. By working with women and children who have been affected by violence, as well as male perpetrators of violence, we have a unique insight into the causes of family violence, the impact on the community, and actions needed to prevent violence.
Anglicare WA provides services to almost 5,000 people each year who have been affected by violence. This includes:
- Refuge in Albany
- Counselling Services
- Advocacy Support Services
- Coordinated Response Service in the Kimberley
- Statewide men’s behaviour change programs
What are the main issues?
- On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner
- Indigenous women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than non-Indigenous women
- Children of mothers experiencing domestic violence have higher rates of social and emotional problems than other children
- 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner
- 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
- 1 in 6 women have experienced abuse before the age of 15
- 1 in 3 young people aged 16-19 report an experience of image-based abuse
- 1 in 20 men have experienced physical or sexual abuse before the age of 15
- 1 in 16 men have experienced physical or sexual abuse by a current or previous partner
- WA police attended 11,626 family related offences in 2019/20
What should be done?
Develop a systemic response to stopping violence
Reducing the prevalence of violence in our community requires a coordinated approach that holds perpetrators to account, keeps women and children safe, and prevents future violence. This requires an integrated response to family violence that considers the consequential impacts of homelessness, health and mental health impacts and traumatic impacts on children.
Whole-of-family interventions lead to safer outcomes for children
Whole of family interventions lead to safer outcomes for children and their families. Anglicare WA’s Healing and Relationship Therapy Services (Harts) is one such children’s program that provides a pathway for families to access thorough assessments of each family member, with a focus on individual and family healing and relationship restoration. This program is currently run on a very small scale and the opportunity to research and document the practice will provide a new framework for strengthening families healing from the impacts of domestic violence. Critically, this research will be able to inform prevention and early intervention strategies.
Support children and young people to develop healthy relationships
Increase school-based programs which encourage healthy and respectful relationships for children and young people. Provide age appropriate materials to prevent violence and support students who have witnessed or experienced violence. Topics should include gender equity, identify controlling or unhealthy behaviours, and learning how to respond if students or someone they know is at risk.
Engage young men to help prevent violence
Men are often not involved in family violence services until they are in prison for FDV related crimes. We must work with young men to help prevent violence long before they are involved in the justice system. Provide pathways for young men to get help to prevent domestic violence and access early intervention services. Programs should address attitudes that underpin gender-based violence, controlling behaviours, conflict resolution and alternatives to violence.
What are we doing?
- Participate every year in the 16 Days in WA – Stop Violence Against Women campaign
- Deliver healthy relationship awareness raising sessions around the gendered nature of most family violence
What you can do
- Educate yourself about what can be done to stop violence against women through sites like White Ribbon Australia
- Contact us to receive Anglicare’s notices about opportunities and events related to preventing family and domestic violence
- Connect with other people to prevent men’s violence against women
- Make a donation to Anglicare WA
- Talk to friends and family about domestic and family violence in Australia, and unhealthy relationships and patterns that contribute to it
- Organise an event in your area to empower people to speak out about FDV
- Contact your elected officials in the WA Parliament and the Australian Parliament. Tell them you support initiatives to eliminate family violence in WA
- Share your thoughts on social media:
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