We share an update from Sue Webeck, Senior Manager- Respectful Relationships Unit
One of the many considerations we must have during this pandemic is the reported increase in rates of family, domestic and intimate partner violence globally. At ANU we are not immune to these complex societal issues and we must face them with our eyes wide open as a community. These increased rates of violence are not only about instances in households and families who have prior to this pandemic experienced violence it is also about violence being used in relationships and households who have not seen this before. Each individual deserves access to care and support which will meet their needs and their specific circumstances. Everyone deserves to understand what family, domestic and intimate partner violence is so that they can identify what is happening in their home, within the homes of people they care about and within the community. To understand what is meant by family, domestic and intimate partner violence please see here. We can all play a part in supporting our communities during these difficult times here are a few key tips on how you can play your part:
- Promote well-being in your community, this may be your work team or social group, the same information applies. Actively engage in conversations about peoples well- being ask what people are finding as valuable ways of looking after themselves, share what you are doing. (this promotes and environment of wholistic discussion which will send an indication to your community that you are a resource to come to if something is not going ok)
- Have regular check ins, book them across different times and days of the week and utilise mixed mediums. Phone calls, video calls and text messages all provide different levels of engagement and opportunity for someone to open up or for you to notice something is not ok or has changed.
- Know what to do if an incident occurs while someone is at home during this time. It is reasonable and legal to leave the house to seek medical, legal, police or support service interventions or to relocate to another residence. Support services are still operating and are actively available to provide assistance to you. If you are in immediate danger call 000.
- Support services providers like the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, 1800 Respect, Victims Support ACT, Respectful Relationships Unit or Canberra Rape Crisis Centre. Follow them on social media, share their posts and information for you community to see. A person may never directly tell you that they are experiencing violence at home but they may reach out to a confidential service because you provided that connection.
- If you are supporting someone through a difficult time always reach out for support for yourself, this may be through telephone lines like DVCS, 1800 RESPECT or life line or it may be through the employee assistance program but looking after yourself is one way you can ensure you can support others.
Below is a list of supports and services available for you so you can get that information for yourself and your communities.
What support is available for you if violence is being used in your home:
If you are in immediate risk of danger please call 000
If you need a discreet solution to accessing support 1800 RESPECT has the Daisy App which is downloadable for android and IOS devices here:
ANU Specific Resources:
The Respectful Relationships Unit can connect you with care and support options within the University or within the broader community.
Human Resources have information located here:
What can I do to support someone experiencing abusive and violent behaviour:
We are in this together so let’s look after ourselves, each other and lean on the services and supports available in our communities.