Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month

Domestic and Family Violence - How To Help

May marks Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in Queensland.

Supporting someone experiencing domestic violence and family violence (DFV) requires empathy, understanding, and careful consideration of their safety. 

Here are some steps you can take to help someone experiencing violence: 

  1. Listen and Believe: When someone confides in you about experiencing domestic violence, listen to them without judgment and believe their story. Let them know that you are there for them and that the abuse is not their fault.

  2. Respect Their Choices: Understand that leaving an abusive relationship can be a complex and dangerous process. Respect their decisions and offer support without pressuring them to leave the relationship if they are not ready.

  3. Empower Them with Information: Provide information about local Queensland domestic violence services, shelters, and support networks. Offer to assist in researching options, but allow them to make decisions based on what feels safest and most appropriate for their situation. A reminder to ask the person is this safe to be printed out and provided, is this safe to be sent to you in a message or who you like me to hold onto this information – safety is paramount.

  4. Help Create a Safety Plan: Work together to develop a safety plan that outlines steps to stay safe during and after incidents of violence. This may include identifying safe places to go, packing an emergency bag, and establishing a code word to signal danger.

  5. Offer Practical Support: Offer practical assistance such as childcare, transportation, or financial resources if safe to do so. Respect their privacy and confidentiality.

  6. Encourage Professional Help: Encourage them to seek support from domestic violence counselors, therapists, or support groups. Offer to accompany them to appointments if they feel comfortable.

  7. Stay Connected and Available: Keep the lines of communication open and check in regularly to show your ongoing support. Let them know they can reach out to you at any time.

  8. Understand the Dynamics of Abuse: Educate yourself about the dynamics of domestic violence, including the cycle of abuse, manipulation tactics, and barriers to leaving. This knowledge will help you provide informed support.

  9. Prioritise Safety: If the situation becomes immediately dangerous, do not hesitate to contact emergency services (e.g., police) for assistance. 

  10. Take Care of Yourself: Supporting someone experiencing domestic violence can be emotionally draining. Make sure to prioritise your own well-being and seek support from trusted friends, family, or counselors if needed.

Keep in mind that as a supporter, your role is to empower and assist, while acknowledging that the survivor has the agency to make decisions about how to handle their situation. Your continued support and empathy can have a profound impact on their path towards safety and healing.

Please note that these resources are available for individuals experiencing domestic and family violence in Brisbane and Queensland via this link. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call emergency services (000) for urgent assistance.

With Grace Therapy stands in solidarity with victim survivors and sends a clear message to our community: violence is never acceptable.

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