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Individuals can make a difference

It is important for Australians to understand violent extremism, so they can intervene early if someone close them might be at-risk.

A person's family, friends and acquaintances are often the first to notice the early changes in their day-to-day behaviour that might be a sign that they are starting to engage with violent extremism.  This can include friends, family, teachers, coaches, mentors, community police, and social workers.

Open communication

The best way to deal with the issue of radicalisation is to maintain open communication with the person.  A positive relationship and open communication can be an effective intervention in itself. 

To help someone, listen to their reasons for becoming involved with an extreme ideology or group and try to understand their perspective. It is important to separate their behaviour from who they are as a person.  Even if you disagree with what they are saying, it's important to find some way to let them know they are accepted and that you are always there to help them.

Early intervention

It is important that anyone in danger of becoming radicalised is helped onto a different path as early as possible, before they harm themselves or others. The people who are most likely to get through to them will be people they trust—parents, friends, teachers or community leaders. However, before you intervene, try to understand the person's situation and motivation.

A significant event, or a build-up of incidents, can trigger and/or accelerate their desire to be involved with violent extremism.  

You're not alone

Remember, as a friend, family or community member providing assistance, it is important to look after yourself.  There are many places you can go to seek advice or support.