Many people behave in ways that are disrespectful or discriminatory towards women, girls and non-binary people. These actions often target people for their gender identity or expression, and they may also target people’s Aboriginality, disability, sexuality, race, migration status or other identity. When people behave in a way that is disrespectful or discriminatory, it can escalate to them using violence, abuse and harassment. Even where that person does not escalate their behaviour, it still makes it more likely for that kind of disrespect and discrimination to continue in their family or community. In turn that helps create the conditions for someone else to use violence, abuse and harassment, and to get away with it.
Because this behaviour is widespread, everyone, regardless of their age, gender or background, will witness some form of disrespect or violence at some point, and we are all in a position to respond in ways that either reinforce the likelihood of escalating violence, or help to prevent it.
This blog post lists some resources that can help individuals and organisations equip themselves to intervene safely, and help prevent and stop violence, abuse and harassment.
If you have suggestions about other resources, or other feedback, please email [email protected]
AWAVA’s brochure: 10 steps you can take to help end violence against women
This brochure includes resources to seek help, educate yourself, use empowering language and respond appropriately if someone discloses violence
ACON’s Domestic and Family Violence Bystander Intervention Toolkit
This toolkit is designed to help you, the bystander, overcome some of the barriers to intervening and support you to intervene in a helpful way when you know or suspect that someone is in an abusive relationship. This toolkit is applicable generally, in a way that is inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people and relationships.
Our Site: Information to help friends, family, carers and violence response services to support women and girls with disability to be safe
Women with Disabilities Australia’s Our Site resource for women and girls with disability also includes information for people and organisations seeking to support the safety of women and girls with disability. This page includes information about the right to freedom from all forms of violence, the situation for women and girls with disability, and how to respond if you see someone being violent or become aware that a woman or girl with disability is being abused.
DVRCV’s tips – For families, friends & neighbours concerned about domestic violence
It can be really worrying when someone you care about is being hurt or abused by their partner. This guide from Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria contains help for people supporting victims of abuse.
For families, friends & neighbours – during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional barriers for victims/survivors. Family, friends and neighbours can play an especially important role when people may have less privacy than usual and less time away from an abusive family member. This resource from Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria contains guidance for people supporting victims/survivors of abuse during the pandemic.
Gender Equity Victoria’s Active Online Bystander Project
The toolkit aims to help get you inspired to stand up for what you think is right online and step in when you see someone participating in or encouraging discrimination. An active bystander is someone who says or does something when they see harassment and discrimination. You can be an active bystander online by using the suggestions in the toolkit and video.
Respect Victoria’s campaign: Tools to help end sexual harassment on public transport
This campaign is designed to bring all Victorians into the conversation around sexual harassment on public transport by providing the tools to call out inappropriate behaviours. Also applicable to people in other States and Territories and other settings.
Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights: Islam and Muslims oppose violence against women
A guide for Muslim women who have experienced family violence and Muslims who seek to inform themselves and their community about a socially responsible understanding of family violence. Available in Arabic, Dari, Turkish and English.
SAFER: A resource to help Australian churches understand, identify, and respond to domestic and family violence
An online tool designed by Common Grace to help the Australian Christian community keep victims of domestic and family violence safe.
VicHealth’s resource to help organisations set up bystander initiatives
This resource has been developed to help organisations introduce bystander initiatives as part of their work to reduce sexist and sexually harassing behaviours.
Learning from bystander interventions at universities (VicHealth study)
This document provides an overview of two bystander interventions trialled at two universities in Victoria. Both interventions were focused on strengthening the capacity of individuals to become active bystanders.
VicHealth’s ‘Stepping in’ bystander action toolkit for sporting associations
This toolkit has been designed to support sporting associations as workplace role models, recognising that a key aspect of creating a safe and inclusive workplace is to equip all staff to step in when they see or hear about sexist language, sex discrimination or sexual harassment taking place at work.