Help is here – there’s no place for family or domestic violence in our communities
[supplied by 33 Creative]
Kunja woman and domestic violence survivor Lani Brennan. Image: supplied
Help is Here is the Australian Government’s national campaign to ensure all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, know where to go for help if they are at risk of or experiencing violence.
Research indicates that during times of crisis, incidences of domestic violence can increase. In March 2020 — when COVID-19 restrictions commenced across Australia — Google saw the highest increase in searches for domestic violence help in the past five years, an increase of 75 per cent.
Campaign supporters, Kunja woman and domestic violence survivor Lani Brennan, and Kuku-Yalanji and Gumbaynggirr man, father and cultural mentor Jeremy Donovan are encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to access support services available.
“There is definitely no excuse for domestic violence — financial hardship, family hardship, family grief — these are things that culturally have always pulled us together, so we shouldn’t let these things pull us apart. We need to protect our families,” says Jeremy.
“We need to let people who are experiencing family or domestic violence know there are people out there who can help. If you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence, or suspect it, you need to speak up”.
Jeremy and Lani are encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access services and be aware that help that is available should they need it.
“I encourage people to use the help that’s available. There is a lot of material out there that can help: 1800RESPECT for everyone in our community, and MensLine for our fellas. There’s support there, and people who are culturally sensitive and culturally trained to make sure our people are supported during this crisis,” says Jeremy.
“There should be no tolerance of violent behaviour. There is no excuse,” says Lani.
“If we allow it to happen, if we tolerate it, it becomes normal. Help is available. Call 1800RESPECT for a confidential discussion if you or someone near you is experiencing violence.”
The campaign is being rolled out nationally with advertising across Indigenous and mainstream media outlets and in shopping centres, hospitals, Aboriginal Medical Services and health services.
An online stakeholder hub where community organisations can access and download resources to promote messages locally is also available. Visit www.australia.gov.au/dvsupport
If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of domestic, family or sexual violence contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au
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