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Two women standing together supporting one another. In the background is water and a cloudy sky.

Chances are, very sadly, we all know of someone who is living with violence and or abuse. And, we know that with Covid-19 restrictions, more than likely they are confined with the abuser. People with disability experience much higher rates of violence and abuse. We write about the practical steps you can take, to help a friend in need.

For Easy Read resources, Women With Disability Australia have information on Our Site. A one-stop-shop for all your questions and support needs around violence and abuse in easy to understand language.

Plan ahead for safety

The key points to address are to have access to finances, secure mobile device with emergency contact numbers and an escape bag with important documents in case of the need to leave urgently. Some of these items may be stored away from their home. A support service can give guidance on how to plan and what actions to have ready. 1800 Respect have a safety planning checklist. The Online Safety Checklist for friends and family by the e-safety commissioner has steps to help you support someone if someone you know is being followed, stalked or controlled through social media or their devices. If Financial Abuse is a concern, read about the Financial Independence Hub.

Seek Legal advice

Without the right advice, victims of abuse and violence could be at risk of losing their home, finances, children or the fair distribution of the family assets. Read about Legal services and support and find local help in "Violence and the Law" put together by 1800 Respect.

Safety Prompt

Have an agreed codeword, phrase or action to alert a nominated person or persons that help is needed.

Know the warning signs

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria have a simple quiz about the signs of abuse. You can view the Quiz at Warning Signs Quiz. If you are not sure there is abuse involved, this quiz will help identify the signs.

If you or someone you know feel unsafe, not respected and not cared for, then something isn't right. It's not your fault. If someone is treating people badly, they are the person doing the wrong thing. Everyone has the right to feel safe and to live a life free from fear. 

You can read more on which services provide help on our IDEAS blog on Bullying, Abuse, Domestic and Family violence, how and where to get help and support. Includes a quick link for crisis lines.

Report Abuse

If you know of abuse, report it. You can read more about Reporting of abuse of people with a disability.

Further reading

For other practical steps you can take, see also Bullying, Abuse, Domestic and Family Violence, how and where to get help this blog talks about:

  • Planning checklists
  • Crisis lines
  • Apps and web resources
  • Financial independence and
  • Family and domestic violence leave.


Information Sourced From

1800 Respect
ABC News
Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria
eSafety Commissioner
Women With Disability Australia

IDEAS does information so you can do life.