‘Ask. Listen. Believe’ to help end family violence on Are You Safe At Home? Day

Thursday 9 May 2024

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Family violence is a national crisis – and we all have a role to play in ending it. 

This is the goal of Are You Safe At Home? Day 2024 – held on 10 May each year, the national awareness-raising day aims to break down the fear and stigma associated with talking about family violence by providing clear information about what to look out for, what supports are available, and how to start a conversation if you’re concerned someone you care about is experiencing abuse. 

This year alone, a woman is being killed by a man every four days, in what are entirely preventable acts of violence. 

Safe and Equal CEO Tania Farha says that while ongoing commitment, investment and action from government is essential to addressing this crisis, we cannot disregard the crucial role people in the community play in recognising and responding to abuse.

“We know that many people experiencing family violence – including some of the women who have been tragically murdered this year – never had contact with police or the service system more broadly,” said Ms Farha. 

“It’s often the people in our community – our family, friends, neighbours, and even work colleagues – who will be the first to notice something is wrong, and who are in a unique position to help. It’s so important we know what to do if we’re worried about someone.” 

Are You Safe At Home? Day provides a chance for people in the community to get comfortable with starting what can be a difficult and confronting conversation. 

“Many people have been asking what they can do to help end family violence – and this is something they can tangibly do right now,” said Ms Farha. 

“By learning to recognise the signs of family violence and start conversations – both with people who might be experiencing abuse, and people who might be using violence – we can remove some of that stigma and fear, and help victim survivors find safety, support and recovery.” 

The main message of this year’s Are You Safe At Home? Day is ‘Ask. Listen. Believe’. By asking someone if they are safe, listening without judgement, and believing someone when they disclose abuse, we can make an enormous impact. 

“Old stereotypes around what family violence looks like are a very outdated, dangerous and narrow perception of what abuse is,” says Survivor Advocate Kym Valentine. 

“Abusers now utilise more covert methods of abuse as a tactic to remain under the radar. That’s why it’s important for us to be able understand that family violence comes in many forms, recognise the different types of abuse and be able to respond safely.” 

 The Are You Safe At Home? website features a suite of accessible tools and resources to help people feel more comfortable and confident to recognise signs of family violence and offer support, including a one-page guide to starting a conversation and links to support services in each state.  

“Learn how to be a safe person for someone to disclose to. Look at the Are You Safe at Home? website to learn how to do that. You can not only change a life, but save a life,” says Ms Valentine. 

Meaningful change won’t happen overnight, says Ms Farha, it will only come with time, investment and deep engagement from all. 

“There’s no one quick solution to ending family violence – it’s an extremely complex issue that requires a fully-funded and comprehensive response, from all levels of government and the broader community,” she said.  

“It’s a collective responsibility that we all have, to ensure every person in this country can be safe, respected and valued – and able to live free from violence.” 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION  

Louise Simms
Executive Director Policy, Communications and Engagement 
Safe and Equal
+61 450 081 547
louisesimms@safeandequal.org.au 

Page last updated Thursday, May 9 2024

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