Stepping up for kids (and other parents)

“As adults it is our responsibility to watch out for the children we interact with, to familiarise ourselves with what to look out for, educate ourselves regarding how to respond if we think a child is at risk, and understand the processes involved in activating help and services in our local areas.”

Stepping up for kids (2016)

Family violence is common in our community – up to 1 in 4 families experiences family violence. It is important that everyone in the community knows what family violence is, how it affects children and families, and what can be done about it. There is a strong link between family violence and mental health problems, for adults and children.

“[I think] You don’t want to hear me sit and go on about my hard luck story. I’m sure you’ve got better things to do.”

“You do, you think, well I’m not important enough to even talk about what is happening to me.”

“For me, I just wasn’t willing to admit what was really happening.”

Source: Expanding early interventions in family violence in Victoria (2016)

Based on the above testimonies of women who have been through family violence, we should probably be more prepared to ask “RUOK?” if we suspect that someone is a victim of family violence. Anyone can experience family violence – women and men, and partners in a same-sex relationship. We can offer a listening ear, and a helping hand by giving them the phone number for the Domestic Violence Counselling Service (Australia) 1800 RESPECT. Maybe we could even sit with them whilst they make the call?

“One of the ladies at school recognised what I was going through. She started talking to me. Without me realising what she was doing, she got me to open up. She’s the one who got me the help I needed and gave me the courage to take that step to ring someone and say ‘I’m in an abusive relationship. I’m really scared. What should I do?’” (Amanda, two daughters)

Source: Expanding early interventions in family violence in Victoria (2016)

The following booklet “Stepping Up For Kids” offers reader-friendly information on family violence. There are quite a few myths associated with family violence, and the booklet addresses some of these. How can we have peaceful and content communities when people are not physically and emotionally safe in their own home?

stepping-up-for-kids-booklet

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Narelle Smith

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Categories: Parenting Community

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