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ABC Regional and 1800RESPECT partnership to help women in times of disaster

1800RESPECT
18 OCT 2016

Women face an increased risk of violence in times of natural disaster according to research conducted after Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires in 2009*. Women in rural and remote areas face further challenges in accessing support services.

1800RESPECT have partnered with ABC Regional to raise awareness about this issue in regional communities across Australia.

1800RESPECT in partnership with the Gender and Disaster Pod (*GADPod), have produced a community service announcement (CSA) to raise awareness of the increased risk of gendered violence in times of disaster. Supported by ABC Regional the CSA promotes the important role a friend, family member or frontline worker can play in supporting a woman at risk of or experiencing domestic violence.

“The CSA draws on the safety planning that many women and their families already do in preparation for evacuating during a natural disaster,” said Jane French, General Manager 1800RESPECT.

ABC Regional will also share a short CSA video across their social media platforms, reaching out to new rural and remote audiences online.

“Through emergency broadcasting, our teams support Australians when they are at their most vulnerable. We see the physical and emotional impacts of natural disasters on families, including through violence, and want to help by raising awareness and providing important information,” said Fiona Reynolds, Director of ABC Regional.

From 16th October the CSA will be heard in regional areas on local radio, ABC TV, and seen across ABC Regional social media platforms.

In addition to the CSA, 1800RESPECT collaborated with the GAD Pod to produce resources to support women in regional and remote communities. The resources can be found on the 1800RESPECT.org.au website here.

The Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, said “Sexual assault, domestic and family violence has a devastating impact in Australia, with one in four women having experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner, boyfriend or date.

“In the traumatic aftermath of a natural disaster, the risk for women and children can increase. Many families are left homeless and unemployed. These stresses – combined with the demands of trying to rebuild homes and lives – can leave women and children more vulnerable. This is compounded by the fact that women in regional and remote communities often have difficulty finding support for gendered violence because of limited accessibility to local services.” Senator Cash said.

“1800RESPECT has produced these resources to assist women, their family, friends and frontline workers to understand the issue and respond appropriately. The partnership support of the ABC helps ensure we can reach women in need particularly those in regional, rural and remote areas.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit our website.

In an emergency, call 000.

*The research, conducted by Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) and Monash University’s Injury Research Institute (MIRI), with funding from the National Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme (NDRGS), found that almost half of the women interviewed after the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 were experiencing family violence. More than half were experiencing it for the first time while others said the violence had escalated since the bushfires. The qualitative research “The Way He Tells It: Relationships After Black Saturday” is supported by international studies conducted on the issue of gendered violence in times of disaster.

*GADPod is an initiative of Women’s Health Goulburn North East, Women’s Health in the North, and Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative. The GADPod was formally established to promote an understanding of the role played by gender in survivor responses to natural disaster, and to embed these insights into emergency management practice.

1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services as part of the Australian Government's commitment to reduce violence under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.

1800RESPECT is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Our services are available to people experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their support networks including family, friends and frontline workers.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit our website. In an emergency, call 000. 

Media contact

Kelli Browne, Director Communications and Marketing, ph: 0418 356 189 or email kelli.browne@medibank.com.au