Family violence exists in many different forms – it can be displayed as physical, emotional, sexual, cultural, psychological or economic abuse.
While family violence disproportionately affects Aboriginal families, it is important to understand that family violence is not part of indigenous culture.
Speak up for safe families
Starting meaningful conversations about family violence is how we create change in our communities - it is up to all of us to come together to call out violence and abuse.
These videos show examples of family violence that you or someone you know may have seen or experienced in your family or community.
Our #SafeKoorieFamilies campaign has been developed to promote conversations in Community about everyday examples of family violence. Use these videos and downloadable resources to start conversations in classrooms, group sessions, and community forums about the effect violence has on children, young people and families.
Recognising Unhealthy Relationships
Everyone has a right to feel safe in their personal relationships. To understand what a healthy and respectful relationship looks like, we need to be able to identify patterns of behaviour that are harmful or abusive. Being able to recognise the early signs of family violence helps us know when to seek support, or when to offer assistance to people who are at risk.
Where to find support
VACCA’s Family Violence programs work to keep families and children safe. We offer support services to Aboriginal children and families affected by violence and abuse, so they can heal and move forward with their lives. We also assist people using violence to make positive changes in their lives.
If you or someone you know would like to find out more about our services and begin the road to recovery from family violence, please get in touch with your nearest VACCA office today.
If you’re worried about a family member or friend
Family violence is common in Australia. If you’re worried that family violence is impacting someone you care about, find a safe time to sit with them to yarn about your concerns.
It can be helpful to talk about how to stay safe, and share ways to connect with family violence support services like VACCA’s. For more ways to support your friend or family member, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) for a confidential yarn. Getting professional support will provide you with information and support to decide what to do next.
Signs of family violence in children
Almost 90% of Aboriginal children in care are there due to family violence. Many others not in care are also impacted by the violence they see, hear and feel around them.
Family violence can affect the behaviour, development, relationships, emotions, learning, thoughts and physical health of children and young people in many different ways:
- Poor concentration, aggression, hyperactivity, disobedience, disturbed sleep/nightmares, withdrawal, low self-esteem, showing no emotion (spaced out), always on edge, wary, fantasize about normal home life, pessimism about the future and physical symptoms
- Self-blame, helplessness, grief, fear, dread, terror, worry, sadness, shame, anger & numbness
- Depression, anxiety & withdrawal
Experiencing violence in childhood also significantly increases the risk of being both a victim and a perpetrator of violence in adulthood.
If you're a professional and want to understand more
As a professional working in child and family services, it is important to adapt a holistic healing approach to understanding and responding to family violence in Indigenous communities. Find out more about VACCA’s Family Violence programs and support services: Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families 10 year plan.