Tassie pharmacists support `safe from violence’ campaign

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Tasmanian Branch is assisting the Tasmanian government to promote the `safe from violence’ awareness campaign through the use of pharmacy prescription repeat folders.

The campaign describes family violence behaviours such as stalking, emotional, economic, and verbal abuse, seen from the different points of view of the victim-survivor, perpetrator, and bystander.

The campaign includes service information and a QR code that directs people to the Tasmanian Government’s ‘safe from violence’ website, the central portal for information on family and sexual violence in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian government became the first in Australia to announce dedicated funding to respond to family and sexual violence during the Covid-19 pandemic, allocating $2.7 million across the family violence service system, including government and non-government services in March last year.

To support the campaign, pharmacies across Tasmania will receive prescription folders for use on prescriptions to help highlight resources available to people who may be the victims of non-physical violence.

“Pharmacies are very connected to their communities and the simple but effective messaging serves as a timely reminder of the pressures that some people have experienced due to the lifestyle changes caused by the pandemic,” says Guild Tasmanian Branch President, Helen O’Byrne.

“We hope that this resource can assist people to get help if they need it or provide information for friends and families if they think that a loved one is experiencing this type of domestic abuse.”

In Tasmania, family violence is recognised as more than physical violence and also includes coercive and controlling behaviours; economic abuse; emotional abuse; stalking; intimidation and property damage.

During the past 12 months many people have experienced changed working arrangements due to Covid-19. Unfortunately for people affected by family violence, this means they may not have access to their usual social outlets and support networks. Being confined at home could potentially lead to increased coercive or controlling behaviour by the person’s partner.

Coercive or controlling behaviour is a purposeful pattern of behaviour which takes place over time in order for one individual to exert power over another and robs victim-survivors of their autonomy and independence.

People who experience this type of abuse are often isolated from their friends and family, with restrictions placed on their movements including where they can go and who they can see.

More information on the campaign can be found online at: safefromviolence.tas.gov.au/resources-hub/non-physical-violence.

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