Safer Community: part of the movement to end violence against women
Today, Wednesday 25 November, is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It’s also day one of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international campaign that runs until Human Rights Day on Thursday 10 December. The dates were chosen to highlight that gender-based violence is a violation of human rights.
Here at Deakin, our culture is defined by safety, inclusion and respect. As a University community, we must stand together against violence, and challenge expressions of gender inequality that allow and reinforce gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence: the facts
In Australia, we’re now talking more openly and regularly about violence against women. The facts make for sobering reading:
- On average, each week in Australia, one woman dies at the hands of a current or former partner.
- Approximately one in four women experiences violence from an intimate partner after the age of 15.
- Women are more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they know than by a stranger.
- Women are at greater risk of violence in their own home from someone they know.
Research also shows that people of all genders are more likely to experience violence at the hands of a male perpetrator. On average, the effects of this violence are more severe for women and more frequent for gender-diverse people.
Unfortunately, we know that incidents of family violence often increase during and after times of emergency or national crisis, and this has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Our Watch says that violence against women and their children is preventable, it’s up to all of us to make this a reality. Actions that will support the prevention of violence against women include:
- challenging condoning of violence against women
- challenging rigid gender stereotypes and roles
- promoting women’s independence and decision-making at home and work
- strengthening positive, equal and respectful relationships.
You can also be part of our #16DaysDeakin campaign by following us on Deakin Life Facebook and Instagram.
Safer Community is here to help
Safer Community is Deakin’s central point of contact for reports and disclosures of family violence and sexual harm. We also respond to reports of concerning behaviour. This includes anything that makes you feel threatened or unsafe, makes you worried that someone may harm themselves or someone else, offends you or just doesn’t feel quite right.
If you feel unsafe in your home, or COVID-19 restrictions mean that your personal situation could become dangerous or unsustainable, Safer Community is here to support you, including to assist you with a safety plan if appropriate or to provide advice.
Our trained professionals are experienced in dealing with this kind of trauma – and it doesn’t matter if it’s recent or historical, or where it happened. So while access to our campuses is limited at the moment, we still want everyone to feel safe while they’re at Deakin – whether that’s while you’re physically on campus for an approved reason or as you study online.
Visit the Safer Community website to find out more, including information on what will happen if you make a report, how we manage your privacy, and what ongoing referrals, support and monitoring are available.
How to contact Safer Community
Safer Community is not an emergency or crisis response service – we only operate during business hours. If you or someone else needs immediate help, please contact Victoria Police by calling Triple Zero (000).
For confidential assistance, contact Safer Community during business hours (Monday to Friday, 9am–4pm) by:
- calling us on 03 9244 3734
- emailing us at [email protected]
- contacting us online to report or access support for:
Other information and help
- If you need to talk to someone, contact Deakin’s Counselling and Psychological Support (CAPS) service.
- Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria has information on how to stay safe from family violence during COVID-19.
- 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) provides information, counselling and support for people affected by family violence and sexual harm.
- Daisy App and Sunny App can connect women and women with disability to local services.
- Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491) provides family violence-related telephone counselling, information and referrals for men.
- Djirra (1800 105 303) provides support for Aboriginal people experiencing family violence.
- Thorn Harbour Health has a family violence service and details of other services specifically for the LGBTIQ+ community.