Message from the Chair
Dear Members and Colleagues,
What can we do as individuals to reduce the dreadful toll of domestic and family violence (DFV) in our communities? We are being told that the strains of our isolation are causing an escalation in incidents of DFV. However, irrespective of the circumstances in which we are living – loss of jobs, financial stress, overcrowded houses, home schooling, we also know there is #noexcuseforabuse. OurWatch, the organisation that is the national leader in fostering primary prevention of DFV launched a new campaign this week. It is worth a look.
In today’s e-Bulletin, I would like to honour the lives of those women and a child whose deaths we have learnt about this week. They may not be the only ones. We send our condolences to the people who cared about and valued them. All of them deserved respect and care. News reports do not tell us the details of their lives.
We honour Anne-Marie Smith, a 54 year-old woman with cerebral palsy, who died in horrific circumstances of abuse and violence in a suburban house in Adelaide. If the neighbours noticed that she had not been seen outside for many years as reported, what responsibility did they take to just pop in occasionally to say hello?
We honour Kamaljeet Sidhu, a 27 year-old woman, who was murdered on 20 May by her husband. If the neighbours heard shouting and screaming as reported, what responsibility did they take simply to knock on the door and retreat, or to call the police the first time such shouting was heard?
We honour Willow, a 4 year old toddler with Down Syndrome who died on, or about 23 May in Brisbane. A candlelight vigil was held in our homes on Wednesday 27 May. You can leave your condolence message at #HerNameIsWillow and #T21Community. If neighbours were aware that Willow’s mother had died as reported, what responsibility did they take to just call in with a casserole or some gesture of kindness that those in a bereaved household need?
At some point each of us may be a bystander to the violence around us. It is hard to intervene but we must take some responsibility to stop the violence where we see it happening.
In the ACT:
- If you think someone’s life is in danger call the police on ‘000’.
- If you think someone is experiencing DFV, ask them if they feel safe in their home or relationship, give them information on how to contact DVCS or CRCC or 1800RESPECT. Then follow up a day or so later to make sure they are OK.
Rosie Batty explains what to do simply here.
We can stand together against domestic and family violence
- If you suspect or believe that a child or young person is experiencing abuse or neglect, you can make a report. Information about what to do and who to contact is here
There is #noexcuseforabuse. Let us all take responsibility for stopping this pandemic of violence.
Despite our sorrow, our e-Bulletin is not one of gloom. It contains great information about positive things that are happening in our community. Please read on.