With an average of two women dying every week as a result of male violence, we should all be aware by now of this issue; but awareness without action won’t solve the problem.
Words: Jas Rawlinson
So what can we do? Whether you know someone personally, or you’re just desperate to see change in our culture, here are some practical ways that you can make a difference in the lives of domestic violence victims.
- Give back: If you have a background in Law, you might consider offering some free or discounted legal services to victims of domestic abuse. Quite often when a woman is caught in an abusive relationship, the process of leaving her partner or hiring a lawyer can be extremely stressful and financially difficult – particularly for those with young children.
- Personal Support: It can be heartbreaking to see someone we love go through domestic violence, but often the support of a friend is instrumental in helping them to leave an abusive partner. Letting your friend or family member know that you are there to support and not judge, is extremely helpful.
- When kids are involved: Finding the time and energy to reach out for help, move house, seek legal representation, and make police reports is difficult for any victim, but when children are involved it can be overwhelming. If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, you might consider babysitting or picking your friend’s children up from school while she is at work or attending important appointments.
- Get creative: Despite Australia’s Domestic Violence crisis, the government has been criticised this year for cutting much needed funds, leaving many shelters and charities with no other option than to turn away victims.