The Australian Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Recovery Alliance says that the Federal Parliament launch of a documentary highlighting the journey of victim-survivors of domestic, family and sexual abuse is an important step in showcasing the urgent need for a cohesive national approach to long-term support programs.
The Recovery Alliance says national investment in recovery and healing services and opportunities, beyond initial crisis management support, is a key factor in securing a future free from violence.
Illawarra Women’s Health Centre Executive Director, Sally Stevenson AM said in a statement the documentary, which shares personal stories and professional understanding of victim survivor recovery and the ongoing perpetration of violence within the community, has the power to challenge community understanding of the victim-survivor journey.
“As the women in our documentary share, there are many obstacles to be faced as they take back control of their lives, heal from the trauma they have experienced and live a life free from violence.”
“We filmed this documentary during the inaugural Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Recovery and Healing Conference in 2023 and what it shows is the importance of a life-span approach to survivor recovery and healing.”
Beyond DV CEO and Alliance Founding Board member Carolyn Robinson says it is important to seek long-term solutions to alleviating victim-survivor trauma.
“For too long, we’ve limited our focus on crisis support for victim-survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence but we know that much more support and systems change is needed over the longer term.”
“Supporting victim-survivors in their recovery and healing from domestic, family and sexual violence is also a key tool for the prevention of violence and abuse.”
Deakin University School of Psychology Associate Professor and Alliance Founding Board member Lata Satyen said, “We need the evidence on holistic, trauma and violence-informed care for recovery and healing.”
She further observed:
“To achieve this, we need to develop support systems and evaluate their effectiveness on an ongoing basis. We need to ensure that victim-survivors from all communities are supported in their recovery and healing using an evidence-based, culturally-relevant framework. Support should be available in different languages.”
Talie Star, Consultant in the Family and Domestic Violence sector and Alliance Director says that “the film is a wonderful example of the collaborative passion that is available to end domestic family and sexual violence.”
“We cannot say that we are committed to ending DFSV if we do not fund the sector properly. Too many women and victims are being turned away. We need to broaden the scope of specialist counselling, ensure trauma informed training is wide reaching and work with people’s diverse experiences, situations and needs.”
Talie also reiterates “when there is a genuine will and commitment, it will happen! Violence affects everyone so when we help the victim survivor, we are actually helping society to learn, heal and grow and not tolerate abuse. Healing and recovery is absolutely possible with the right funding, supports and trauma informed training.”
Founder of the Centre for Women’s Economic Safety and Alliance core member, Rebecca Glenn says recovery and healing also requires financial safety.
“It is incredibly costly to be a victim-survivor of domestic, family and sexual violence. To be able to move forward requires many things but includes stable and appropriate housing and economic opportunity.”
To gain a better understanding of the different components of recovery and healing and to understand the journeys of victim-survivors and the work of those in the sector, please watch the film and share it as a resource within the sector.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au
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