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Violence

If you, or someone you know is currently experiencing any form of violence, it is important to speak out and talk to someone you trust so that they can help you. To speak to a trained mental health professional for immediate support, contact:

If you, or someone else, is at immediate risk of harm contact emergency services on 000.

The information included on this page covers different types of violence and assists in highlighting the incidence within WA. Injury Matters recognises that behind every person impacted by violence, friends or family may also be affected as seeing their loved ones go through traumatic experiences is confronting and highly emotional.



How can we prevent violence?

Family, domestic, sexual and interpersonal violence can happen to anyone, however no matter what your relationship is to someone violence and abuse is never ok. To reduce violence in WA we need to take responsibility for our personal behaviours, challenge others abusive behaviours and change societal attitudes that support violent actions.

Every incident of violence is unique and there are a number of factors that can contribute to the incident, including; previous exposure to violence, societies condoning of violence, harmful alcohol consumption, socio-economic inequality and discrimination.

Gender stereotypes play a role in violence within society and therefore promoting gender equality is extremely important in combating certain drivers that contribute to violence against women. Actions we can take towards this include:

  • Challenging gender stereotypes within society and showing children non-traditional roles of successful women and men.
  • Always challenging the condoning of violence against women and always applauding those who speak out from personal experience in oppression or violence.
  • Promoting the independence of women and their active decision making.
  • Strengthening relations between women/men and boys/girls to create positive, equal, and respectful interactions.
  • Normalising gender equality in public and private life.

Identifying someone who is experiencing violence or abuse can be a key step in preventing future incidents of violence, but this can also be challenging.

Signs of violence can include; unexplained physical injuries, personality changes, reduced social participation, anxious behaviours around their partner, sharing stories of their partner’s poor behaviour and frequent communication initiated by their partner regarding their location.

If you think a family member, friend or colleague is experiencing violence or abuse you may be worried about asking them in case you are wrong, but showing that you care by naming it and offering them support are very powerful.

What support is available to those affected by violence?

If you, or someone else, is in immediate danger, call emergency services on 000. In WA, many forms of violence are criminal offences so do not hesitate to call 000 and ask for the Police if required. If it is safe to do so without putting yourself or others in danger, support the victim/s until help arrives.   

If it is not an emergency but you would like help, there are a number of services you can contact at any time of the day for support, including;

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)
  • Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline (9223 1199 or 1800 000 599)
  • Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline (9223 1188 or 1800 007 339)
  • Kids Help Line – 1800 551 800
  • Crisis Care Helpline (9223 111 or 1800 199 008)
  • Sexual Assault Resource Centre (6458 1828 or 1800 199 888)
  • Lifeline (13 11 14)

Other services available are:

  • Relationships Australia (1300 364 277)
  • WA Elder Abuse Helpline (1300 724 679)

I am being abused, what should I do?

Physical assault, emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, social isolation and dominating behaviour are all forms of violence. If you are in a violent or abusive relationship this is not your fault.

It is important that you talk to someone about your experience, get support from someone that you trust or a specialist support service and develop a safety plan if there could be future risk of harm to yourself or others.

What to do if someone tells me they are being abused?

Courage is required to disclose any violent experience. If someone has confided in you, it is important that you respond sensitively and support their ongoing wellbeing. Key ways you can support them include;

  • Listening to their experience without interrupting.
  • Not asking too many questions about the incident/s.
  • Do not judge the situation, blame the person experiencing the violence or make excuses for the person who is being violent. 
  • Reaffirm that they have the right to make decisions around their next steps, do not force them to take action.
  • Supporting them to contact a specialist support service.
  • Confirm that you are there to help in any way you can.

I am being violent, what should I do?

Violence is never acceptable. If you are being violent it is important that you identify that you have a problem, take responsibility and control your behaviour. No matter the type of violence or abuse you are conducting, you must stop immediately. If you cannot do this, remove yourself from the environment or situations that you are being violent so you can address the underlying issues.

Changing violent and abusive behaviours may take time but by committing to the need to change, getting support from someone you trust or a support service, working on contributing factors, actioning mitigation strategies and taking proactive steps you can change your behaviours.

Trauma from any kind of violent incident can have an impact on the individuals directly involved and their family or friends. Recovery can take time, hence it is important to seek the appropriate care and be kind to yourself.

Organisations and programs

Injury Matters Violence Resources

Violence Injuries in WA Factsheet

Download

Violence Resource Kit

Download

Violence Factsheet

Download

External Resources


References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 3303.0 Causes of Death, Western Australia, 2019. (2020).
  2. Western Australia Police Force. Crime Statistics. (2021).
  3. Markus, M. L. Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019. 162.

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