Domestic and family violence (DFV) is often talked about as being a women's issue, or a women's problem.
It's a perception Illawarra community leaders and support service providers want to change. They say DFV is a social problem and everyone has an important role to play in doing something about it.
The calls comes as the rate of domestic violence in the region reaches "crisis point".
Up to five women a day are currently seeking help from the Illawarra Women's Health Centre. Last year, almost 800 women sought DFV-related help there.
General manager Sally Stevenson said more had to be done to change the culture around domestic violence.
"We can't afford for the community to turn a blind eye to this anymore, we need people to stand up if they see it, we need them to report it," Ms Stevenson said.
"In particular, we need to acknowledge that this isn't actually a women's issue, this is a community issue and it's an issue around men's violence.
"We need to see men step in and stand up against this kind of behaviour because it's a crime and we need men to say that it's not OK."
The commander of the Lake Illawarra Police District - where officers respond to an average of 12 DV incidents every day - echoed the call.
Detective Superintendent Dean Smith - who also holds the DFV portfolio for the NSW Police Force's southern region - said people shouldn't hesitate to report an incident.
"If a neighbour sees someone breaking into their neighbour's house, then the first thing they would do is ring the police," Det Supt Smith said.
You cannot stand by, you have to stand up and you have to take action in relation to domestic violence.Lake Illawarra Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Dean Smith
"Unfortunately that's not the case when it comes to domestic violence all the time.
"You can't stand by anymore, it is all of our responsibilities to make sure that if you see something happening, that you hear something happening, that you report it to police.
"You cannot stand by, you have to stand up and you have to take action in relation to domestic violence."
This week, the region's federal Labor MPs revealed a Shorten government would give the women's health centre $1.5 million to help DFV victims access a "one-stop shop" of support services.
The centre would link with Lifeline South Coast and the Illawarra Legal Centre to simultaneously address financial and legal issues, and offer trauma-informed health and wellbeing support.
Truda Gray, from the Warrawong-based legal centre, said she'd heard reports of women sitting across the road, crying in their car - unable to come through the door amid fears they'd be judged.
Ms Gray said the new service would help improve access and remove the stigma.
Ms Stevenson said the effects of DFV could last for the duration of a woman's life.
For longer-term help, the centre has proposed an Australian-first DFV trauma recovery space.
Ms Stevenson said it had broad community support but needed funding to get off the ground.
You don't have to suffer in silence: victim
From the outside looking in, you wouldn't have known there was trouble at home.
But, in reality, growing up was far from normal for one Wollongong woman.
The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, grew up with domestic violence. Her dad subjected the family to verbal and emotional abuse, intimidation and controlling behaviours.
There were also ongoing threats of physical abuse.
"We were all very frightened of my dad, we basically lived in constant fear throughout my entire childhood," she said.
Now aged in her late 40s, and a parent to two stepchildren, the woman said she's passionate about helping other women identify domestic abuse early "so they can do something about it and also save their children".
"I think there are a lot of families out there who do not know of the support [that is available]," she said.
"I certainly didn't and my mum certainly didn't. Even today, this actually makes me feel quite emotional, I talk with my mum and I don't think she really gets it; the extent of what she went through.
"We did not know that help existed. It's one of those things that's very shame-based, you live in shame that this is your family situation and you suffer in silence because it's too embarrassing to talk about it with people.
"I was put through schools, I went to university; on the outside I would look like I am a relatively successful person but the trauma that comes from living in ... and growing up as a child in a domestic violence situation lives with you for the rest of your life."
The woman has sought support from the Warilla-based Illawarra Women's Health Centre, which she described as a safe place, especially for those "at their lowest".
Her message to victims was "tell somebody" and for outsiders who see something happening to "offer support".
"I think domestic violence is actually probably bigger than we think it is and there's a lot of under-reporting," she said.
"I think the more people who are actually aware of what it involves and so can do something about it would be really valuable."