Combatting domestic and family violence as a community
There are many ways that individuals, community groups and organisations can take action to help end domestic and family violence in our community.
Community groups and sporting clubs
- Coaches, club managers, parents and other community leaders should model appropriate behaviour and hold group members accountable when they make sexist remarks, trivialise violence, or blame victims.
- Promote gender equality in your community, religious or sporting club; there is a strong link between gender equality and violence against women.
- Sporting groups can dedicate matches to raise awareness that domestic and family violence will not be tolerated. Some teams wear a special coloured jersey, socks, caps or ribbon on the day to generate discussion, while volunteers hand out brochures to supporters.
- The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is held on 25 November and White Ribbon Day is on 22 November. On these days, or during November, many sporting clubs host a White Ribbon Round or wear a white ribbon or wristband to start positive discussions about attitudes and behaviours in relation to men’s violence against women.
- Schools play a key role in breaking the cycle of violence by teaching young people how to build respectful relationships. During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May, make respectful relationships the common theme for discussion.
- Encourage students to produce posters depicting respectful relationships and hold a poster exhibition during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May.
- Find out about the Breaking the Silence Schools Program and become recognised as a White Ribbon School.
- Hold a gold coin donation event, such as a morning tea or fun run, to raise money for a local domestic violence service or shelter and generate discussion that violence against women and children is not acceptable. The funds raised could help pay for school items for children in a local women’s refuge.
- Create a workplace culture where employees feel confident to do something if they see or hear sexist, harassing, discriminatory or other types of behaviours and attitudes that underpin violence against women.
- Introduce and promote workplace policies about supporting employees affected by domestic violence.
- Refer to the Queensland Government’s domestic and family violence workplace support package which is available for local government, business and non-government organisations to tailor to their workplace.
- Take steps for your workplace to receive White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation.
- If your business provides a service that could help people leave an abusive situation or start over, consider working with a local support group or refuge to make your service available free of charge.
- Media organisations can depict domestic and family violence in ways that create a better understanding of the nature of the problem, as well as best represent ways to respond. Download the Domestic and Family Violence Media Guide for more information.
- Hold a morning or afternoon tea during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May to raise awareness among staff about the issue. Show videos and distribute brochures. Staff may even be inspired to work as a team to raise awareness among clients and the community.
- Distribute our brochures and help cards to staff. Order extra copies and leave them in the kitchen or break room so staff can read them and learn about domestic and family violence as well as where to get help.
- Learn about the various forms of domestic and family violence so you can recognise the signs of abuse and know where to get help.
- Be a source of support to someone experiencing abuse, let them know you care and ask what you can do to help.
- Fathers have an important role in teaching sons how to respect girls and women. If you’re a dad, think about how you treat–and refer to–women, and model appropriate behaviour.
- Check out the Australian Government’s Stop it at the start campaign that explains how adults–often without meaning to–say things that excuse disrespectful behaviour in young people.
- If you’re a parent or carer of a young person, read about The Line campaign and how to talk to young people about healthy, respectful relationships.
- If you hear or witness violence in your neighbourhood, phone the police on Triple Zero (000). Even if you hear the violence stop, you should still contact the police so they can investigate, make sure people are safe, and possibly prevent it occurring again.
- If you suspect a child is exposed to violence, find out how to report child abuse.
- If you know someone who is violent or controlling of their partner, contact your local domestic violence service for advice on the best course of action.
- Consider whether you use violence in your relationship or are at risk of being violent or abusive. If so, contact DVConnect Mensline, DVConnect Womensline or Lifeline.
- Challenge sexist comments or jokes that are derogatory or belittling of women; seemingly innocent comments that demean or put down women are part of the continuum of violence and abuse.