STRONGER TOGETHER: What domestic and family violence may look like

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Last updated: 19/11/2021

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya focuses on domestic and family violence.

Today, November 19, marks the 2021 White Ribbon Day.

While every day is one where we’re striving to reduce domestic and family violence, dedicated days of awareness are key to ensuring the consistent community messaging continues and hopefully violence stops.

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director
Tanya OShea IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

Everyone should feel safe, particularly in their own home with people they care for – unfortunately this is far from reality for many people.

And the impacts of Covid have further contributed to the complexity of domestic and family violence and access to support services not only in Bundaberg but across the state.

Each person’s experience of domestic and family violence is unique, however there are commonalities in the type of abuse people have experience; physical violence is by no means the only way people are being abused.

Psychological, emotional, cultural, spiritual and economical abuse are also ways in which a partner can be controlling, dominant, violent and disrespectful.

The coercive control is also of great concern and has a real impact on individuals in DFV relationships.

Coercive controlling behaviour includes isolation limiting contact with family and friends; denying freedom and autonomy, gaslighting where an abuser twists a scenario to make themselves right and will force the survivor to question their own memory and apologise.

Financial control, monitoring, body control and jealousy/possessiveness are also examples of controlling behaviour.

IMPACT Community Services’ Intensive Family Services provides support to families for 9-12 months who are experiencing complex and multiple support needs to prevent Child Safety becoming involved. 

In order to promote women’s connection to community and to continue to create a safe support network; IMPACT IFS runs a weekly Wommin’s group focusing on connection, nurturing and strengthening. 

This group is open to existing and formerly supported IFS women.

Having healthy boundaries can be vital to your wellbeing and can help you build a sense of identity.

You are allowed to be yourself all the time; being single is not a social or personal failure; and you deserve to be respected, safe and free from violence.

This White Ribbon Day the theme is ‘How Can Men Make Change?’ Learn, Give, Take Action’.

White Ribbon believes that all forms of violence are wrong and acknowledges that men and women can be victims.

They also acknowledge the majority of domestic violence victims are women.

“We understand there are organisations working to prevent violence against men and we commend any work they do to prevent violence…,” White Ribbon’s website reads.

“Hopefully the work done between us will one day see the elimination of all forms of violence.”

For more details about IMPACT’S IFS team phone 4153 4233.

If you or someone you know may need help phone:

  • DV Connect: 1800 811 811
  • Edon Place: 4153 6820
  • Men’s Line: 1300 78 99 78
  • National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732 (1800 RESPECT).
  • In an emergency, phone 000

For more information about White Ribbon Day click here.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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