16 Days in WA

09 DEC 2020

This month, the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in WA campaign is being held for its fourth year. It takes place from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December, which is Human Rights Day. The campaign aims to raise awareness; increase positive actions; and highlight organisations, agencies, communities and individuals working to end violence against women.

What is Domestic and Family Violence?

Domestic and family violence can affect anyone in the community – regardless of gender, age, location, socio-economic and health status, culture, sexual identity, ability, ethnicity or religion. The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 recognises that while both men and women can be perpetrators and victims of domestic and family violence, the overwhelming majority of such violence in Australia is perpetrated by men against women.

It might not be easy to identify domestic violence at first. While some relationships are clearly abusive from the outset, abuse often starts subtly and gets worse over time. Abuse can take place through control of finances, through limiting access to technology or through stalking. You can find further information on the types of family and domestic violence on the Lifeline website.

Domestic and Family Violence in Western Australia

Family and domestic violence is a significant issue in Western Australia and the following facts and statistics give a concerning overview of how much of an impact it has on so many families in our state.

  • One in five Western Australian women reported experiencing partner violence since the age of 15.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women account for 67% of hospitalisations due to family and domestic violence in Western Australia.
  • 63% of assaults in Western Australia were family and domestic violence-related in 2019.
  • The number of family and domestic violence-related victims increased in most Australian jurisdictions between 2018 and 2019. In Western Australia, this number increased by 10% to 19,437 people.
  • 11,975 family violence restraining orders were lodged in Western Australia in 2018-19, equalling 75% of the total restraining orders filed.
  • As many as 56% of youth homelessness cases in Western Australia are linked to family and domestic violence.
  • Family and domestic violence is a leading cause of women’s homelessness. Domestic violence accounted for 55.8% of the accommodation support from specialist homelessness agencies in WA in 2017-18, up from 45.1% in 2012-13.

If you are interested in further statistics and research on the subject of family and domestic violence, please see here.
What should you do if you or somebody you know is experiencing Family and Domestic Violence?

If you are concerned about a family member or friend, be confident in asking if everything is okay and if they are safe at home. Make sure that you ask them in a place where they feel safe and listen to their answer without judgement.

Lifeline has created a useful toolkit to help you prepare for what might come up in this conversation. It also highlights what you yourself may have been feeling or thinking as a result of an abusive relationship.

It is essential that we, as a community, use this time to challenge gender-based violence and support those who may be affected by it.

If you are interested in hearing more about how you can get involved with 16 Days in WA – Stop Violence Against Women then please see here.

If you need to refer someone to a service, or need to access a service yourself, please see here for information on resources available in Western Australia.
If you are in danger now, call 000.
If you need help with an exit plan or are in crisis please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
For Family Violence Counselling, please call free 1800 RESPECT

Image credit: Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash