Voice for change on domestic violence

EVERY week in Australia one woman dies from domestic violence, that’s 52 each year, compared to an average of three women killed by sharks every year.

“And somehow that doesn’t qualify as a tools-down national crisis, even though if a man got killed by a shark every week we’d probably arrange to have the ocean drained,” noted political commentator Annabel Crabb.

Ruah CEO Debra Zanella says the silence around domestic violence enables what should be a “national outcry” to go almost un-noticed.

“We are looking at institutional gender inequality. Often we don’t see it because it’s subtle.”

The community services provider is inviting women who have experienced domestic violence to take part in its free, three-day program, Voices for Change.

“Ruah will provide training to support and empower women who have experienced family and domestic violence to tell their individual story; helping to challenge the drivers of domestic violence within the community and promote respect and equality,” Ms Zanella says.

“We know how difficult it is for many women to speak about their experience, but we also know how powerful their stories are in motivating behaviour change.

“Ruah will sensitively deliver training to assist women in sharing their experiences, building courage and confidence in their ability to use the power of their stories to inform the community and add a new dimension to the conversation around domestic violence.”

Children

One in three women in Australia have experienced domestic violence at some point, and one in four children are exposed to it.

The statistics are even worse for disabled women, and those from diverse cultural and language backgrounds.

In 2018, 28 West Australians were killed in suspected domestic violence incidents.

Ruah has offices in Fremantle and Cockburn, and if you want to become a Voice for Change, email coordinator Marg Byrne at marg.byrne@ruah.org.au

by JENNY D’ANGER

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