Don’t turn away. This is serious! Our lives and our children’s lives are being eroded by this insidious crime every day, all day, for years and years on end. It robs adults of their mental health and wellbeing and it robs children of their potential.
It costs the Australian economy in excess of 13 billion dollars per year in lost productivity and support services and hospital admissions. Imagine if a government department was losing that amount of money every year, there would be a public outcry, a royal commission, politicians would be losing their jobs.
This problem is domestic and family violence (DFV). You have probably read the stats. It’s more prevalent than you are led to believe. And unlike any other crime, the victims are usually blamed for the problem – ‘why doesn’t she leave?’ ‘if she didn’t do this, he wouldn’t do that’. The victim blaming causes more inaction and the problem just gets worse.
What is DFV? It is a pattern of manipulation, coercion, control, and violence. It’s not just incidents of violence, it is not just hitting. One person systematically erodes the other person (a partner, spouse, or a family member) financially, verbally, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, and technologically. The victim is degraded to such a point that they don’t know who they are anymore, they constantly second guess what they are thinking, feeling and experiencing. DFV undermines the parent’s ability to be the best parent they can be and children are victims too.
Sometimes the User of Violence is really sweet for a while and the victim thinks everything is OK, but it always comes around to what the user of violence does each and every day to exercise power and control over the victim. It is NOT about anger management because many Users of Violence do not behave this way in the community and at work.
Users of Violence frequently minimise and deny their behaviours and they blame the victim. It’s part of the pattern of abuse. They’ll do anything to not take responsibility for their actions. To be clear – there is absolutely NO circumstance where anybody is entitled to use violence within their family.
The answer is to stop blaming victims and make Users of Violence responsible for their beliefs, thoughts, and actions.
We need to raise our sons to be respectful towards girls, and we need to raise our girls to have self-respect and be attuned to the warning signs of coercion and control. Let’s stop it at the start.
Violence against women, it’s a men’s issue – Jackson Katz https://youtu.be/KTvSfeCRxe8
A mile in her shoes – Ryan Calvert
If you are in danger, call 000
For support, contact 1800RESPECT or https://www.1800respect.org.au/
Article Written + Submitted by
Narelle Smith | Family Practitioner