Domestic and family violence prevention

A message from Provost Professor Belinda Tynan:

You may have recently watched or heard about a compelling three-part documentary series screening on SBS called See What You Made Me Do. This affecting series is presented by an investigative journalist and explores one of the most complex and urgent issues currently facing Australia as a nation: domestic violence and abuse. The documentary has sparked several articles in the media, including this one in The Conversation.

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month. It’s timely to reflect on the pervasive issue of domestic violence and its relevance to us as members of the ACU community. As a Catholic university, ACU aims to teach and practise global responsibility and citizenship, and to recognise the dignity of the human person as the foundation of an ethical vision for society. We stand in solidarity with survivors against all actions of domestic and family violence, and we endeavour to always act in ways which contribute to safer and more respectful communities.

Tomorrow, Thursday 27 May, ACU is supporting our community engagement partner, Impact, with their 'Wear a Touch of Red' campaign, which aims to initiate conversations about domestic violence and bring about positive action. All staff are invited to wear some red, take a selfie with work colleagues, family or friends, and post it to social media and the ACU Engagement group on Workplace with the hashtag #WearRed4Impact.

The university has also recently contributed to Impact’s Bags of Love campaign. To coincide with Mother’s Day, ACU staff helped to prepare, pack and deliver 360 bags of beautifully wrapped gifts and personalised messages for women and children fleeing extreme violence at home. I volunteered for this, and it was a pleasure to partake in this initiative alongside my team.

Earlier this month, ACU’s Living and Learning Communities Manager, Sport Programs Manager and National Safeguarding Officer facilitated MATE bystander awareness training for interested students and staff. The program gave participants a framework to challenge rigid gender stereotypes and raise awareness about the level of violence in our culture, along with practical skills to be an ethical bystander.

One of the key measures of the impact, reach and success of our university is whether our activities enhance the life and dignity of the human person. I encourage you to contemplate ways that you might incorporate this goal into your work and daily life, to collectively help bring about positive change in society. A prime example of this mission in action is the work of our own Institute of Child Protection Studies – a nationally recognised centre of research excellence in the area of child, youth and family welfare.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence, ACU can help you with free, 24/7, confidential counselling through our Employee Assistance Program, AccessEAP, via 1800 818 728. If you require leave as a result of the effects of experiencing domestic and family violence, support is available through ACU’s Domestic Violence Leave.

You can also contact the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or through online chat via

Best wishes,

Professor Belinda Tynan

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