The voices leading the fight against family violence gathered today to hold a workshop aimed at getting their message across to the Launceston community.
A message that anyone and everyone can play a role in calling out and intervening against family and domestic violence was conveyed throughout the workshop.
The workshop was funded from the Tasmanian Community Fund as part of a joint initiative of the Hobart Women's Shelter, Engender Equality, Women's Legal Service Tasmania and Women's Health Tasmania.
WLST chief executive Yvette Cehtel said the workshop taught attendees ways of identifying non-physical violence in their professional and social circles and presented ways they could intervene to potentially stop violence before it escalated to physical abuse.
Fighting Back against family violence:
"We had a mix of people from various organisations and communities coming together to have conversations around appropriate bystander action and tools to act and respond differently to family violence and abuse when they see it," she said.
"Often people want to do something when they see family violence but they don't have the skills to intervene."
"[After attending] people have more tools and have practiced some ways of intervening in situations.
"That doesn't mean stepping in front of somebody that's about to be attacked, it's about identifying signs of emotional and verbal and economic abuse."
In focusing on intervention when family violence is at the stage of emotional and psychological abuse, the workshop aimed to educate attendees that it is at this point that the biggest difference can be made.
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"The easiest time to actually intervene is at the emotional, verbal and economic stage, but we don't. And we often don't intervene when it's physical and sexual, it's the police that do," Ms Cehtel said.
"It's so much easier to intervene and have conversations at the pub or have a cup of tea if you've heard yelling with the next door neighbours and just ask, 'are you okay?'."
"People are worried about misstepping or doing the wrong thing when actually the only wrong thing to do is to do nothing."
Ms Cehtel said from these workshops the messaging about what bystanders can do can permeate the community and spread in a way that can reduce instances of family violence.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The Examiner has launched a new campaign in an effort to raise more awareness about all aspects of family violence, and to fight to reduce barriers for victims of that violence.
As part of the first step of the campaign, The Examiner is petitioning to have an administrative cost for lodging an interim family violence order removed.
Join the fight and sign the petition here.
For those seeking help, Family Violence Counselling and Support Service is available on1800 608 122 from 9am to midnight weekdays, and 4pm to midnight on weekends and public holidays.
Telephone and online counselling is available at 1800 RESPECT or by calling 1800 737 732
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