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May is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Updated: May 18, 2020

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is held during May each year to raise community awareness and promote a clear message that this kind of violence will not be tolerated in our communities.

It's important that the public are aware of the effects of this awful crime and encourage victims to report it. It is a serious issue that affects not only families but the entire Australian community.

While it is encouraging that domestic and family violence has gained increasing news attention and public awareness, and we continue to see accounts in the media which put a spotlight on the trauma women still face in their day-to-day lives, it is unacceptable that this violence remains at such high levels in Australia.

One woman a week and one man a month dies due to domestic and family violence. We also know that sixteen per cent of women and five per cent of men have experienced violence from a partner since the age of fifteen and domestic violence is still a leading cause of homelessness, particularly for women and children.

One woman a week and one man a month dies due to domestic and family violence.

Coercive Control is non-physical domestic violence and domestic abuse. These controlling behaviours such as, stalking, threats, and verbal abuse are red flags that can quickly turn into physical harm, with sometimes fatal consequences. No one should be forced to stay in an abusive home to keep a roof over their child’s head. Yet, we know that there are thousands of families in Australia who are doing just that, or have been pushed into homelessness because their home is no longer a safe place to live.

Having appropriate and affordable accommodation is part of the immediate solution. Emergency accommodation provides crucial safety. Leaving an abusive home is already a very difficult decision. The lack of available emergency accommodation options makes it even harder. Safe Haven's Community of private room providers is Australia's only National Register of temporary crisis accommodation. Our service provides crucial support for women and their children fleeing domestic abuse.

During the month of May, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I would ask you to please spare an extra thought for the women and children affected by violence and abuse, for the hundreds of people, especially the volunteers, working to make a difference, and for the things you can do to help.

If you sense that you or someone you know is in a threatening situation trust your instincts and call a DV Support service for confidential advice and assistance on how to protect yourself and others.

If you're one of the lucky ones whose life is untouched by domestic abuse and you would like to help, maybe you would consider registering your room and being part of our community. If you're not in a position to do that, help out with a small donation.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the kind, generous people across Australia who have registered their rooms and are already part of the Safe Haven Community. We couldn't do what we do without you.

If you are experiencing abuse or violence it is not your fault. There are support services that can help you. If your life is in danger, call 000. For 24/7 domestic violence counselling call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 RESPECT That's 1800 737 732.

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