No Place for Violence
The prevalence of violence within our community is of increasing concern to Berry Street. There is no place for violence in our community – not in our families or homes, not on our streets or in our neighbourhoods, not in our workplace or services, on our sporting fields - and not in the lives of our children.
Violence is seeping its way into the lives of children and young people through their exposure to violent images in a variety of media. Normalising violence and portraying violence as the means to resolve issues undermines future relationships and erodes social cohesion. Racial violence and violence perpetrated against women and children are of particular concern to Berry Street. As a community we are failing boys and young men by not showing them non-violent ways to deal with the conflicts and stress that inevitably form part of every human life. Strong male role models who reject violence are all too often missing from the lives of young boys. Equally we fail girls and women if we don’t show them that violence perpetrated against them in their family, their networks or community is not acceptable and not something they should ever endure.
Through our local services, we see first-hand that family violence is at the heart of most child protection cases. We see the trauma it creates and the harm it does to children. We see women repeatedly being harmed and victimised through family violence and then neglected by inadequate legal and service responses. We know that the trauma of this violence can cause lifelong damage and create intergenerational cycles of violence.
There is no place for violence and Berry Street is committed to using our influence to take a stand against violence in all areas of our work.
Key Areas of Advocacy and Action
- Therapeutic programs and support for children and young people who have experienced family violence including support for boys to develop into strong healthy men and fathers who reject the use of violence
- Development of a long term public health approach to prevention of violence in all its forms and in all places
- Expanded public and supported housing options for women, children and families who have been affected by family violence
- Implementation of comprehensive sexual health and relationships education programs for children, young people and parents through schools and community based programs
- Family violence, family law and child protection reforms to ensure that the rights of women to raise their children are not compromised by family violence or child protection interventions