We have all felt the impact of COVID-19. Whether it is through losing our employment, being unable to buy flour at the shops for weeks on end, or being unable to celebrate a loved ones birthday- we have all experienced change at some sort of level. During this time it can be easy to get wrapped up in our own situations, however there are a number of people within our society that are at a greater risk due to COVID-19.
In particular, people who are victims of domestic and family violence are at a greater risk during this time as they can be trapped indoors with their perpetrator. With May being Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month, The Allison Baden-Clay Foundation has launched the STAND BY HER campaign in the hope to encourage bystanders to use their voice to help those in need.
STAND BY HER is a clever play on words, and will run throughout the month of May on social media and digital platforms. The campaign will share real stories or women who were helped by bystanders and gained the courage to seek support.
Foundation Chair and Sister of Allison Baden-Clay, Vanessa Fowler, said it is important for all Australian’s to recognise the signs of domestic and family violence, because it could ultimately save someone’s life.
“All Australians need to be able to recognise the non-physical signs of domestic and family violence and the tactics to intervene effectively and safely so that we can each be an effective bystander willing to help someone who may be in need.”
“STAND BY HER highlights that We All Have A Voice, and just how powerful that voice can be. Whether it’s a passing conversation, an invitation for a coffee catch up or an offer for more immediate help, these small things plant a seed of support and can ultimately save someone’s life.” Ms Fowler said.
The Allison Baden-Clay Foundation has created the STAND BY HER campaign with support from Brisbane Domestic Violence Service (BDVS) and Micah Projects’ Voices for Change Program to share real stories from women who have been helped by a bystander.
“Bystander intervention plays a crucial role in helping women in lived experiences of domestic violence, and you will see just how much of an impact it can make through the stories that will be shared throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month” said Belinda Cox, Community and Partnerships Program Manager at BDVS.
“Whether it’s a stranger, friend, or family member, the words and actions of a bystander hold so much power to help women to feel courageous to gain the confidence to speak to services that can help them.”
Understanding the non-physical signs of domestic and family violence is extremely important, as they are often subtle and can be hard to miss. Non-physical signs can include:
- Using emotional abuse
- Using Intimidation
- Using coercion and threats
- Using economic abuse
- Using male privilege
- Using children
- Minimising, denying and blaming
- Using isolation
For full information about each of the above, visit the Foundation’s STAND BY HER page of their website here.
We can all do our part as bystanders to ensure that the people around us are safe, not just during this period in time, but at all times. Simply by speaking up- whether that be through a small action or a more immediate offer for help can truly make an impact and help reduce domestic and family violence. #StandByHer this May for Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month.
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.