White Ribbon Day campaigns were held across the nation today to raise awareness for family and domestic violence in Australia.
25 Nov 2013 - 4:59 PM  UPDATED 25 Nov 2013 - 7:44 PM

In 2012, police responded to 135,000 incidents of family and domestic violence in New South Wales alone.

One woman dies every week in Australia from domestic-violence related incidents, and these rates are continuing to increase.

But Dr Kylie Cripps from the University of New South Wales Indigenous Law Centre said this could be a positive sign that victims are becoming more confident in reporting incidents to the authorities.

"It’s more that people are more aware of what family violence is and are more able to come forward," she said.

Dr Cripps is a Pallawah woman who researches the issues surrounding Indigenous family violence and child abuse.

She believes addressing the issue first-hand can be difficult, but it's not impossible.

"Often family violence happens behind closed doors, so our first indicator that something might not be quite right, it might be the bruise that we see on our friend or on our sister or on our aunty or even on our brother or uncle, so it's about having the courage to say hey you look like you've had a bit of trouble, you know, are you OK?'" Dr Cripps said.

The government has pledged $1 million  towards the White Ribbon Campaign to stamp out violence against women, in particular in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

It’s hoped the money can prevent the problem before incident rates increase.

"You know I’ve seen children that have grown up always seeing violence and they act it out.  To see a young person acting out violence who’s four, five, six, that’s not OK. You know when they are happy they act out violence, when they are sad they act out violence, we actually need to challenge that. You know I can actually remember an elder actually saying to me that hands are for holding, not for hurting," Dr Cripps said.