Our top tips for bystander action against domestic, family, and sexual violence
The prevention of domestic, family, and sexual violence remains global issue and therefore needs a global response, with all communities and individuals doing their part. This starts with believing and supporting victim/survivors of domestic, family and/or sexual violence. Every action, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on raising awareness and creating positive change.
We have created a guide below with ideas on where you can start to incorporate these steps in your day-to-day.
Here are our top five tips!
When you hear jokes or comments that minimise or trivialise domestic, family, and sexual violence, or that condone sexism / rape culture, call them out. When society stops accepting these remarks the culture, attitudes, and social norms domestic, family and/or sexual violence will begin to change.
Learn about the dynamics of domestic and family violence, the warning signs, and resources available to support survivors and challenge people who use violence. There are plenty of helpful resources out there that address domestic, family and family violence topics and supports.
- DVConnect – Supporting someone you know
- MATE – Motivating Action Through Empowerment
- LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation
- Building Access project – People with Disability Australia
- Safe and Equal – Advice for family and friends
- Queensland Government – Domestic and family violence resources
- Queensland Police Services – Domestic Violence Resources
- Queensland Centre for Domestic & Family Violence Research (QCDFVR)
Believe survivors when they disclose their experience. Don’t blame them for the abuse or suggest they should have done things differently. Acknowledge that their actions/inactions have helped them to survive or stay safe. Avoid pressuring them to share details or making decisions on what they should do next, let them take control of the situation in their own way. You can let them know of support services available so they can best decide what is right for them.
Let your people know that you are there for them if they need someone. It’s less important you know what to say, than it is to provide a safe place to talk. This step is pivotal to ensure that people are suffering alone or in silence.
Hold people who use violence to account and be a role model
By challenging gender stereotypes, promoting gender equality, and treating everyone with respect, you can help create a culture in which domestic, family and/or sexual violence is less likely to occur. This is important to note as it highlights that as a society, we all need to our part to reduce domestic, family, and sexual violence in our communities, and it starts with being a role model and believing victim/survivors.
To learn more about how you support a those impacted by domestic, family, and sexual violence download the Be there app. This app provides tools and resources on how to support someone who may be experiencing or using abuse. Click the link below to learn more. Be There App – A domestic violence bystander support app
We all have an important role to play in ending domestic, family, and sexual violence and it starts by applying these tips above into everyday life. When we collectively as a society change our attitudes and perceptions around domestic, family, and sexual violence we will see positive impacts into the reduction of abuse, resulting in supportive and safe communities.