Violence against women:
Sexual behaviour you don’t want; such as being forced into sexual activity against your will, or physical and social .. to either bring physical or emotional pain.
- On average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.
- One in five, women have experienced sexual violence
- One in four, have experienced physical or emotional violence.
- Every year in Australia over 300,000 women experience violence – often sexual violence
- Eight out of ten women aged 18 – 24 are harassed on the street every year.
Family violence: family violence is when a family member is threatening, controlling and abusive towards another family member.
- Family violence can happen between partners, parents and children, or extended family members
- Family violence happens to one in four Australian women. So you’ll probably come across someone who has experienced family violence of some kind.
- Family violence is about power and control. The purpose is to scare the victim so that the victim does what the perpetrator wants. By making the victim afraid, the perpetrator keeps power and control in the relationship.
- More than 1 million children experience domestic violence in the family
Violence against men: Consists of violent acts that are committed against men, Men are overrepresented as both victims and perpetrators of violence. sexual violence against men is treated differently in any given society, and may be unrecognized by law.
- Almost half of all men have dealt with some sort of psychological aggression by an intimate partner. This number is equal to women at 48.4% and men at 48.8%.
- Study between 2003 – 2012 show that men account for about 24% of domestic violence survivors
- About 1 in 7 men ages 18 and older have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
- Nearly 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner to the point they were scared for their life or safety or the lives or safety of loved ones.
“Silence shouldn’t kill, Love shouldn’t hurt. The future of preventing domestic violence begins with you.”
Abuse is the act of someone who purposely hurts another whether it be verbally or physical, it can come in many forms, such as; threatening, assault, rape, injury, violation or other types of aggression. Abuse can be involved in a family, Relationships, elderly abuse.
- He tried to strangle me after my brother’s wedding in Feb but told me that it was my fault, that I deserved it and that he would finish it off.
- Physically harming, leaving marks.
- Creating trauma
- Depression and anxiety
- Threatened to smash my head in with a hammer and proceeded to bash holes in the wall around me.
- Creating trauma
- Scared – fear
- destroying personal property or physically harming someone, or threatening to do so.
- Depression and anxiety
- Creating trauma
- Physically harming, leaving marks
- threatening to evict someone or puīt them in a nursing home
- Loneliness, fear
- Anxiety and stress
An unhealthy relationship is a relationship where one or more of the people involved starts to display behaviors that are not healthy and are not founded in mutual respect for the other person. An unhealthy relationship is not necessarily abusive in relationship, but it can be.
Intensity – Having extreme feelings or over the top behaviour that feels like too much, examples may be rushing the pace of a relationship, always wanting to see and talk to you, feeling of someone who may be ‘obsessed’.
Jealousy – Jealousy is an emotion that everyone experiences, but jealousy can become unhealthy when someone lashes out and takes control of you, some examples include them getting upset when you text or hangout with people your partner may feel threatened and accuse you of cheating, they may start being possessive over you or even start stalking you.
Manipulation – When a partner tries to influence your decisions, actions or emotions. Manipulation is not always easy to spot, but some examples are convincing you to do things you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable with, ignoring you until they get their way, and using gifts and apologies to influence your decisions or get back in your good graces.
Isolation – Keeping you away from friends, family, or other people, Examples can be when your partner makes you choose between them and your friends, insisting you spend all your time with them, making you question your own judgement of friends and family, and making you feel dependent on them for money.
Sabotage – Purposely ruining your reputation, achievements or success, Examples can be making you miss work, school or practice, keeping you from getting work done, talking about you behind your back or starting rumors, and threatening to share private information about you (blackmailing).
Belittling – Making you feel bad about yourself and putting you down this can resolve in making you feel insecure about yourself , Examples can be calling you names, making rude remarks about who you hang out with, what you look like, and making fun of you.
Guilting – Making you feel guilty or responsible for your partner’s actions, some examples can be making you feel responsible for their happiness, making you feel like everything is your fault, threatening to hurt themselves or others if you don’t do as they say or stay with them, pressuring you to do something you’re not comfortable with.
Volatility – Unpredictable overreactions that make you feel like you need to be cautious with what you say or do around them or do things to keep them from lashing out, Examples can be mood swings, losing control of themselves by getting violent or yelling, threatening to hurt you or destroy things, and making you feel afraid of them.
Deflecting responsibility – Keep making excuses for their behavior, Examples can be blaming you, using alcohol or drugs as an excuse, using mental health issues or past experiences (like a cheating ex or divorced parents) as a reason for unhealthy behavior.
Betrayal – When yur partner acts differently with you versus how they act when you’re not around, Examples can be lying to you, purposely leaving you out or not telling you things, being two-faced, acting differently around friends, or cheating while in a relationship with you.
- They don’t know how true love feels like, or don’t really understand what love is and what it feels like, so they settle for the very little they are given. Don’t understand the concept of love over lust.
- The parents want to protect their children from the emotional pain of divorce, and they also want to spare themselves of the pain that would come from having their own children blame them for not being able to hold the family together. And so, they choose to stay together “for the children’s sake”.
- Some may be in an abusive or obsessive relationship and have no way of getting out of it because scared of what their partner may do, weather it be hurting them, others or even themselves and not having the support throughout the relationship and having to deal with being unhappy within the relationship and living in fear causes it to be very hard.
- There are so many fears that keep people from leaving unhealthy relationships, and some of these fears are fear of being alone forever, fear of not being able to find another person who would love them. Fear of not knowing what to do with one’s own life, how to handle the many challenges that will come their way, fear of not being able to survive all alone, fear of losing the security, safety and comfort they are used to. There are times when people want to leave unhealthy relationships and want to live a happy life, But because of how bad things look like, and because the road ahead of them seems very foggy, they feel trapped and can’t seem to find a way out. They can’t seem to find the help, encouragement, strength, and courage they need. And so they give up.
Support and advice you can give someone
If you notice a friend who may be in an unhealthy relationship and feel that they may not know how to approach someone about the topic and who they may approach, the best thing to do is to try to start a conversation on a positive note and make them feel comfortable when talking to you, make them feel safe and as if they can seek your advice, make sure to be steady in the conversation things may be really hard for them in life and presurring will not help them to feel like they can confide in you. Make sure to listen to them and allow them to open up on their terms and to not be forceful in the conversation, it can be a hard topic to talk about and share, make sure to offer your support to them and make them feel as if you are there to listen to them whenever they need. Focus on the conversation and make sure to make them feel like they are talking in a safe space, see how your friend may feel about their partners actions and where they stand instead of jumping to accusing their partner for abuse because this can cause them to shut down and not want to talk about it anymore, so instead just listen and try point out behaviours that may come under unhealthy relationships, this allows your friend to think about how they feel and what an unhealthy relationship may look like. Try to keep the conversation friendly and assure your friend that your not judging them, telling them about how you may relate because of your past experiences can make your friend feel as if you understand them more and know how they may feel, but try not to talk too much about yourself and focus more on your friends situation, also don’t make it feel like your a counsellor trying to council them but as two friends talking. Make sure to never blame your friend and make them understand that the behaviors and emotions they are feeling is normal, and isn’t their fault their partner is acting the way they are. Everyone is responsible for their own behaviour and no matter the reason violence is never okay.
Domestic violence refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are are currently or have previously been in an intimate relationship. The perpetrator uses violence to control and dominate the other person. This causes physical harm, psychological fear
Impacts of domestic violence on health and wellbeing
Trauma to the mind and body – When physical danger threatens our control, the ability to escape is something we can’t stop we switch on our natural instinct for survival, this includes the body using a huge amount of energy to fuel our fight or flight reactions. But this process to fight which is to defend or flight to get away from the violence, is not an option for most victims while the abuse is happening. The violence can result in shock and other sets of involuntary responses. These effects tend to stay with the victim long after the violence ends and is the main cause for psychological, physical and emotional damage, this can cause not only physical injury, but mental shifts including behaviour patterns, coping mechanisms all focused on surviving the violence and abuse as the mind attempts to process the trauma or protect the body. The abuse and violence can have a serious impact on the way they think and how they interact with others and the world around them. The exposure to domestic violence/abuse can cause permanent stress and fear. It is very high that the victim experiences many different emotions such as anger, sadness, shame and even depression or worst case scenario suicide, these emotions are very common in someone who has experienced violence weather it be in the home or outside, this often leads to the victim getting involved in drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain.
Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic experience. The common symptoms associated with PTSD are flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Many people who go through domestic violence or abuse have difficulty coping and adjusting as they seek to recover and heal but struggle due to the memory of it. There are now many associations that are to help with people who may have trouble overcoming the event, and so they have people to help support them and listen to them, with the right support the PTSD will improve overtime.
Depression – Depression remains the most common symptom of survivors of domestic violence, it is more than common feelings of temporary sadness. Symptoms can include prolonged sadness, feelings of hopelessness, unexplained crying, changes in appetite with significant weight loss or gain, loss of energy or sleep disturbance, loss of interest in activities previously pursued or enjoyed. Depression can affect someone’s outlook which can lead to feelings of hopelessness and loss of personal agency and an overall impact on thought processes and ability to make decisions. In extreme cases of depression suicidal thoughts or attempts can occur.
Effects of domestic violence on children
Babies / Toddler – An infant exposed to violence may have difficulty developing attachments with their caregivers an in extreme causes suffer from failure to thrive. Preschooler’s development may be affected and they can suffer from eating and sleep disturbance. Some effects on both babies and toddlers are sleep difficulties, development of post traumatic stress disorder, delayed physical and mental development.
Child – A young child who may experience violence at home may experience irregular sleeping patterns, nightmares, delayed emotional development which causes lack of emotions or heightened emotions such as feeling worried, scared, angry, sad or even aggressive behaviour, delayed physical development, depression and anxiety which influences thoughts of suicide, self harming and substance abuse . Some effects being in school may be struggling to socialise with others and forming or maintaining friendships, withdrawal from friends and family, low academic performance (struggle to concentrate) and poor attendance.
Teenage – A youth may be at higher risk of substance misuse or becoming a victim of dating violence, youth are likely to feel that it’s their fault and blame themselves for the violence. They may also feel very guilty about not being able to prevent domestic violence from occurring. Some effects that are caused are flashbacks, Sleeping problems – including nightmares, Problems with peers – antisocial behavior, risk-taking behavior – such as reckless driving, depression and anxiety – emotional numbing, difficulties at school – such as attendance and struggles to concentrate and complete the work – affecting academic levels, Suicidal thoughts or attempts, Self destructive behaviour – for example drug and alcohol use or eating disorders.
Support services – city of casey
- Casey youth support services (casey 360) – help youth and young adults ages 10-25, to support people who have experienced domestic violence inside or outside the home, including alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness, family violence etc. Casey 360 supplies 3 free sessions that allows the victim to have a trial with a counselor to see the support programme and services they provide.
- Headspace – a national youth programme that help supply support for people who may experience violence in the home, drug or alcohol use, mental illnesses, etc. they allow you to have support within their headspace centres which allows you to talk to a counsellor face to face, and even allows for someone to find support online through they online and phone services this allows you to talk to someone about what you may be going through anonymously. Headspace also provides information about what you can do to help your situation if you don’t want to talk to someone.
- Commonwealth home support programme – people who are in their late adulthood ages 50+ who may have experienced domestic violence or types of abuse such as drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, family violence, unhealthy relationships in the past or present experience/s and may have finally sought to seek help, they provide support services with counselling and support groups known as the safer casey partnership.
How can we play a role in reducing domestic violence?