The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the serious issue of family and domestic violence for intimate partner relationships and women and children who are isolated from their communities..
One of the leading global child protection and family violence organisations has worked around the clock to provide online support and information for victim/survivors of family and domestic violence.
Service providers and case workers have had to work differently during this time which has been more complicated with distancing measures and additional requirements needed with hygiene.
Prior to COVID-19 as a pandemic and global health crisis, The Safe & Together Institute and Berry Street hosted the 3rd Asia Pacific Safe & Together™ Model Conference in February on the Kulin Nation, the focus of the conference was Domestic Violence and Children.
Practitioners, policy makers, academics and leaders from child protection, child youth and family services, family violence, men's services, justice and mental health gathered to focus on up-skilling and collaboration to go forward with the framework.
The Safe and Together Institute is based in the United States and has an International reach. The organisation is committed to supporting professionals working with families where there’s family and domestic violence and children involved.
Executive Director of the Safe & Together Institute David Mandel opened up the conference in Melbourne addressing the invisibility of men using violence on their partners and children and how accountability and connection is important in addressing this global crisis.
David Mandel speaks with Kirstyn Lindsay for Standing Strong Together.
Ruth Stearns Mandel is the Communications and E-Learning Manager at the Safe & Together Institute. Together Ruth and David Mandel produce ‘Partnered with a Survivor,” podcast, a raw and intimate glimpse into their personal and professional partnership and what it means to truly partner with a survivor, raise a family based on S&T principles and engage in social change at every level.
This is a podcast for practitioners and parents, partners and employers, co-workers and friends – and anyone else who may want clarity, understanding, hope and healing.
They are a reflection of Ruth and David’s on-going conversations which are both intimate and professional and touch on complex topics like how systems fail victims and children, how victims experience those systems, and how children are impacted by those failures. Natasha Ferre caught up with Ruth at the conference.
The Safe and Together Conference hosted many workshops and breakout rooms with organisations that use the model when working with children and their families.
One of the key plenary's of the conference was delivered by Ryan Hart Co-founder of CoCo Awareness and author of Remembered Forever.
In 2017 Luke and Ryan Hart’s lives changed tragically when their father murdered their mother and sister Claire and Charlotte in Lincolnshire UK.
Their father was seen as a great guy. He always attended meetings with teachers, and appeared as a friendly man in the community. Their Mother’s life was completely controlled and monitored. Clair Hart couldn’t have her own money, her calls and movements were always tracked.
Her husband's behaviour has been identified as coercive control. a hidden form of violence. In 2015 legislation on Coercive Control was implemented in parliament in the UK outlining the harm and impacts control and psychological abuse have on the victim.
Ryan Hart and Kirstyn Lindsay discussed the impacts of war on their families and the militarisation of communities and how it contributes the cycle of violence.
Ryan believes his father’s military background influenced his father to become the man he was. In the end Ryan says it comes to choice when using violence and control and if you notice of your loved ones withdrawing from communicating, the best thing you can do is ask if they are being abused by a partner or family member?
Ryan and Luke’s book Remembered Forever is available online from CoCoAwareness https://www.cocoawareness.co.uk
The Safe and Together Institute have recently published a guide for family and friends-"How To Be An Ally To A Loved One Experiencing Family Violence."
The guide can be downloaded from their home page.
The website and facebook page includes a cache of resources and online forums.
The Safe and Together institute must be commended for their hard work and resilience in supporting the global community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Published by Kirstyn Lindsay for 3KND Standing Strong Together.