One in four women in Australia has experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner as well as significant numbers of men. Every week at least one woman dies as a result of intimate partner violence. These women can be your colleagues, your family, your friend or your neighbours.  There is now a website designed to provide guidance about what you can do if you are concerned about someone you know or someone who is a client or patient, providing you with the skills to make a difference. Also available is a phone-line with trained staff to provide further advice and guidance for those experiencing domestic violence. The site has a "toolkit" for those in frontline areas, family, friends and workmates to identify and respond  to someone who is affected by domestic or family violence. Rosie Batty has produced a video,( available on the website, ) advising us to adopt what she calls a four step approach.  Asking the woman if she feels safe, naming it as violence, referring to more specialist help and then following up with her Her advice is that  " if you see someone in distress, call it out".

The toolkit provides a script to help ask (in a sensitive way and a safe environment), whether the person is feeling unsafe in her home or relationship.  If then, the person wishes to open up and talk, "name it". Let her know that no one deserves uninvited sexual contact, violence or controlling behaviour under any circumstance. If she is in immediate danger, she should call 000. Otherwise, give the contact details of or 1800 737 732 for specialist services ( it is available 24 hours a days, 7 days a week), reassuring her that she will not be judged, nor will they tell her what to do. The phone line is staffed by trained advisers.  The website also advises about how to provide psychological first aid for distress, but also a reminder you are not  a therapist, nor have to be to provide comfort . There is also a framework for what can happen next , the person experiencing the issues does have to follow through themselves . Also of note is the last step, to follow-up with a check whether you can touch base again, or ask if she is feeling safer or supported a short time after your first conversation.

The toolkit includes a number of practical videos and resources for workers and professionals, including an e-resilience training programme for frontline workers. There are resources to help navigate the legal system and what to expect when going to court and technology safety resources.

1800RESPECT is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. 

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