Domestic Violence Causes National Distress, Reliance on Lifeline

By: Laura Bennett

Warning: The following article contains mentions of domestic violence. If you need support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au. If you have been impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.

In Australia right now, society is grappling with the unignorable truth that violence against women has become a national crisis.

Journalist-led memorial The Red Heart Campaign shows 34 women have lost their lives to violence this year and The Guardian reported that according to data from the Australian Institute of Criminology the rate of women killed by an intimate partner rose by nearly 30% in 2022-33.

Interpreting the figures is nuanced, as the year-on-year increase still peaks at a rate lower than earlier figures from the last thirty years, however they do represent an unacceptable and saddening upward trend.

On the day that thousands gathered at rallies to demand government action on the issue – Lifeline reported their highest ever number of requests for support with a combined 4500 calls and messages coming in over a single day.

“When there are distressing events in the news, we do typically see an increase in the number of people reaching out for support,” Lifeline’s Chief Research Officer Dr Anna Brooks said.

May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month in Australia.

While not involved in determining polices that define the governments next steps, Lifeline want leaders to address an issue concerning Australia’s population.

“Our role is to make sure that no one has to go through their toughest moments alone,” Dr Anna said.

“Service provision is what we’re involved in, but we want to make sure we use our voice to highlight that these events are really causing distress across the nation.”

May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month in Australia, and Christian social justice charity Common Grace believe it’s the right time for renewed focus on the crisis.

“Male violence against women is such a horrific shattering of God’s intent for relationships and households,” said National Director Gershon Nimbalker.

“We believe that for all to flourish as God intends, households must be places of safety and support, where our most intimate needs for connection and care are met and relationships are based on dignity, respect and love.

“As Christians [we are] not immune from this national epidemic.

“More needs to be done to bring transformation, safety and support to the communities around us.”

“Male violence against women is such a horrific shattering of God’s intent for relationships and households.”

Domestic violence is also aimed at men, with approximately 6,000 experiencing it across NSW, and while rates are lower, they reflect the all-encompassing nature of a crisis impacting households across the country.

It’s overwhelming to think of the human cost of domestic violence and abuse in Australia, but Lifeline is encouraged by our ability to support one another.

“Connection and hope are absolutely fundamental to supporting people’s wellbeing,” Dr. Anna Brooks said.

“We all have access to a lot of news, and sadly of lot of the stories are distressing, but there are protective factors [like] being part of community, and through that community being linked to hope, that are important things.”

If you need support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au. If you have been impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.

‘Safer’ is a resource to help Australian churches understand, identify and respond to domestic and family violence. Learn more here.


Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

Feature image: Photo by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash

About the Author: Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.

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