Speak Out 4 Kids – Break the silence on Domestic Violence
Young people know if there is violence in their family, even if their parents try to hide it. Parents often believe that their children don’t know what’s going on because the violence happens at night, or behind closed doors, or while the children were outside or away from home. But young people “frequently recall incidents which they were not ‘supposed’ to have seen” (Stasiak et al, 2004).
“Speak Out 4 Kids recognises the need for public education and awareness-raising campaigns on domestic violence to focus more on the impact on children and specific ways to address this hidden problem”.
The project aims to address, educate and respond to the issue of Domestic Violence within the Macleay Valley and is managed by Kempsey Family Support Services Inc.
How many young Australians live with domestic violence?
According to a national survey funded by the Federal Government almost one quarter of young people in Australia (23.4%) have witnessed their father or stepfather’s violence against their mother or stepmother. The definition of violence in this research relates only to physical violence; young people’s exposure to emotional, sexual, financial and social abuse is probably much higher. (Commonwealth Attorney General Department, 2001).
Children and young people are present at 85-90% of domestic violence incidents and that in about 50% of those incidents the children were directly harmed. (Department of Community Services NSW, 2002). Based on findings from the national survey, it is estimated that 1 in 10 young people currently live in homes where the male carer uses violence against them “for reasons other than bad behaviour” (Indermaur, 2001). Indigenous young people are more likely to report having witnessed domestic violence than non-Indigenous groups. (Commonwealth Attorney General Department, 2001)