White Ribbon Day message: Women should never live in fear of violence
Lifeline is marking White Ribbon Day by highlighting the isolation and hopelessness felt by many women in the community, and sharing its commitment to creating an Australia where no one has to live in fear of domestic or family violence.
Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said the national campaign to end men’s violence against women was important for building awareness and spreading a message to those most vulnerable that there are many in the community who can help.
“We want women in the community experiencing domestic or family violence to know that it is never OK – you don’t have to hide or feel alone,” Mr Shmigel said.
“There are many services, professionals and community members that will listen and provide both emotional and practical support.”
With women experiencing personal violence 4.5 times more likely to take their own life, Mr Shmigel said it was important for the national charity to take a whole-of-community approach to finding a solution.
“We understand that it can be difficult for women to reach out and, since 2011, have run the Domestic Violence Response Training (DV-alert) program to train frontline community workers to recognise and respond to domestic violence situations,” Mr Shmigel said.
“It’s built on the belief that all Australians should be able to live full and happy lives, free from fear of violence. Through DV-alert, Lifeline seeks to empower community frontline workers by providing them with the skills and tools to support women experiencing family violence.”
DV-alert, which was recently expanded to include police officers, social workers and emergency department staff, will train more than 3000 frontline workers in FY16. To date, DV-alert has trained close to 6000 frontline community workers across the country.
The program is a key initiative under the Australian Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022. Recognising the diverse communities in Australia, the training is also delivered specifically for frontline workers supporting Indigenous, and refugee and migrant communities. For more information, visit www.dvalert.org.au.
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.