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Violence is a significant health and human rights issue, and has demonstrable negative impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities.
The prevalence of violence and types of violence vary across cultures. Vulnerability to different forms of violence differs according to relative power and resources.
The APS advocates for policies and programs which prevent violence and prioritise the safety of victims. Any comprehensive policy and practice response to violence would need to avoid gender blind conceptualisations (e.g., ‘the violent couple’, ‘family conflict’), directly confront the violence as a central issue, encourage perpetrators to take responsibility for their use of violence, avoid blaming victims, and limit perpetrators’ scope for abuse of power.
The APS contributes submissions to government inquiries to provide evidence about the harm caused by violence and ways to prevent it in the future. Such inquiries have variously focussed on the experiences of women, children and people with disabilities.
APS member psychologists often work with individuals and groups who experience or use violence, seeking to prevent violent behaviour and address its impacts,and have contributed greatly toknowledge base in the area of domestic violence.