Written by Lucy Czerwinski.
Produce for online by Beatriz Alonso Montalvo
Bystanders are being urged to take action when confronted with domestic violence as part of a Queensland Government initiative.
Media personalities including former rugby league player Darren Lockyer, are behind the campaign, encouraging Queenslanders to use the hashtag #DoSomething.
To mark Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, the Queensland Government has announced a media campaign to help stop domestic violence.
The initiative does not focus on the perpetrators of victims of family violence, but rather the bystander.
Griffith University MATE bystander Program Director Shaan Ross-Smith, says it is not fear that stops people from speaking up.
“Really we are all accountable to how our culture and society looks and it’s up to all of us to stand up.”
Ms Ross-Smith says we should not hesitate when aware of violence.
“You should never wait for a person that’s being impressed, to be taking the action. We should be looking at how we can all as people in a position of privilege, how we can affect the change.”
Griffith University Violence Research and Prevention Program Director, Paul Mazerolle says there is a strong research supporting the importance of bystander intervention.
“We know it’s many of the majority of cases of domestic homicide that somebody is suspected that something wasn’t right.”
QUT News spoke with a domestic violence survivor who says she received support from a neighbour.
She says bystanders have power that victims do not have.
“You don’t have a voice and sometimes someone else’s voice is the only chance that you really have.”
She also adds that there are many ways to make a difference.
“Even if you think you are overstepping the line, you can make tips anonymously or you can leave letters in letter boxes saying, ‘Hey, we know what you are doing, we hear you’.”
Television and online ads will be rolled out across the state from tomorrow as part of the government’s $9.3 million commitment to violence prevention.