Preventing family violence
What is family violence?
Family violence is any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour that happens in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships. Both adults and children can be exposed to family violence.
Family vioence can include (but is not limited to):
- being kept away from friends and family
- having no or limited access to money
- being checked up on all the time and having to explain whereabouts
- being criticised, put down or ridiculed
- being regularly blamed for anything that may go wrong
- fights where there is hitting, slapping, punching or other physical violence
- threats of violence to people or animals
- threats to leave and not allowing contact with children
- being forced to participate in sexual acts.
Children exposed to family violence
A child is exposed to violence if they see or hear family violence or otherwiswe experiences the effects of family violence from one family member to another.
Their experiences may include:
- overhearing threats of death or personal injury
- seeing or hearing an assault
- comforting or providing assistance to a family member where they have been assaulted
- cleaning up a site after a family member has intentionally damaged property
- being present when police or ambulance officers attend an incident involving the assault.
- We acknowledge that family violence has an impact on many men, women, young people and children and acknowledge those who have been traumatised by family violence.
- We ask that silence is no longer the acceptable response and ask the whole community to build healthier and respectful relationships with one another so our current and future generations thrive.
- We acknowledge the strength and courage of all women, men and children who support victims/survivors, perpetrators and their families, and who continue to speak up and challenge stereotypes to build a community for all people to be treated with respect where they work, live, learn and play.
Together We Can
We are working with the community and its leaders, Victoria Police and University of Melbourne on the Together We Can initiative to stop, prevent and end family violence in Cardinia Shire.
Cardinia Shire has one of the highest reported incidents of family violence in Victoria. In 2014–15, local police attended around 25 incidents a week.
The whole community needs to be involved to prevent family violence and support those impacted, especially children and young people.
To reduce family violence, we need to all build respectful relationships with each other.
Respectful relationships are about valuing people, including people who are different. When you have respect for someone, you feel positive about them and admire or appreciate their actions or behaviour. You can also treat anyone with respect regardless of how you feel about them.
What a respectful relationship looks like
- You are accepted
- Your feelings of self-worth are fostered
- Your points of views and beliefs are valued
- You are listened to and heard
- 'No' is accepted for an answer
- Your rights to be safe, valued and cared for are understood
- You can make mistakes and still be accepted and respected
- Your relationship is never controlling, and encourages personal growth and fulfilment
- Your relationship nurtures a culture of trust, honesty and happiness
- You are able to disagree and say what you think or feel without being put down or hurt in anyway
- You can make your own choices and form your own views consistent with your age and developmental level.
If you are not feeling respected call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732, open 24 hours) for free advice.
White Ribbon Day March
We support the White Ribbon Day March Against Violence with a local event, held every year on the first Friday before 25 November.
Cardinia Shire's White Ribbon Day March started in 2010 with 3 community members walking around the lake at Pakenham Lakeside. Participation in the walk has steadily increased over the years.
Preventing Violence Together Strategy
The ‘Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region’ is a region-wide strategy for the prevention of violence against women and their children.
It explains the causes of violence against women and makes a case for collective action in the region. It was developed by Women's Health in the South-East (WHISE) in consultation with 28 organisations in the region, including community and women’s health services, local government, primary care partnerships, and key health organisations.
White Ribbon accreditation
We are a White Ribbon-accredited work place for work in preventing and responding to violence against women in the work place and in the community.
Since 2015, we have worked hard to create and sustain a safer and more respectful workplace, through education and training, enhanced resource allocation, improved workplace policies, effective leadership, and involvement in initiatives such as Together We Can and White Ribbon Day.
CHALLENGE Family Violence project
CHALLENGE Family Violence was a 3-year partnership project (2013-15) targeting Cardinia Shire, City of Casey and City of Greater Dandenong. The principles of the project continue to influence the work of community leaders.
Local men experienced in family violence prevention mentored influential male community leaders from various groups and organisations. Men were encouraged to challenge attitudes and sexist behaviours, promote respect and non-violence towards women and children and get involved in White Ribbon events.
The project was funded by the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice.