WE must all do our part to end domestic violence. Lisa Hunt Wotton
One in four Australian children are exposed to domestic violence.
In Australia this year 77 women have died at the hands of intimate partner violence.
The 25th of November is White Ribbon Day Stand against violence against women
Right now you can do something vey simple, you can take an oath to Stand UP AGAINST Violence toward women.
Click here to join the movement on social media and spread the word.
I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women.
By standing with other Australian men and women you are saying that you are determined to treat all women with respect, and to intervene safely when someone else doesn’t. Taking the Oath is a powerful symbol of your intention to be part of real change.
We need to understand violence against women and their children if we are to prevent it.
There are lots of statistics around violence against women and their children. We have chosen the below to demonstrate the severity of such violence, its prevalence, and the groups most vulnerable to experiencing it:
- A woman dies at the hands of a current or former partner almost every week in Australia.1
- One woman in three has experienced physical violence, since the age of 15.2
- One woman in five has experienced sexual violence.3
- One woman in four had experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.4
- Women in Australia are three times more likely than men to experience violence at the hands of a partner.5
- More than half of the women who experienced violence had children in their care when the violence occurred.6
- Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.7
- There is growing evidence that women with a disability are more likely to experience violence. For example, 90% of Australian women with an intellectual disability have been subjected to sexual abuse.8
- Indigenous women experience disproportionately high levels of family violence.9
Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, happens in many forms including physical, emotional and economic violence, and can affect people of any age. It does not have to be within the home to be classified as domestic violence. It is a form of violence that can occur within any relationship (family or intimate partner). Domestic violence is about power and control and there are many ways this control can be expressed.
If someone is hurting you it can be very scary and it may be hard to know how you can stop it. It is important to remember that no one has the right to be violent towards you and there are people out there who can help.
Types of intimate partner violence
Below are some of the forms that domestic violence may take.
Physical – If someone is hurting you, or threatening to hurt you, a loved one or a pet, then you will need to take some action.
Emotional – This form of violence is often unrecognised and can be very hurtful.
Economic – Having money and being able to make decisions about it, is one means of being independent. If someone is controlling your money, keeping you financially dependent, or making you ask for money unreasonably, then this is a form of violence
Social – Social violence occurs in relationships that often include other forms of violence. If someone is insulting you or teasing you in front of other people, keeping you isolated from family and friends, controlling what you do and where you go, then they are being violent and you may need to take some action
Spiritual – This type of violence involves a situation where you are not allowed to have your own opinions about religion, cultural beliefs, and values, or your spirituality is manipulated to keep you feeling powerless.
How can I keep myself safe?
At times we underestimate the amount of danger we are in, either because we don’t realise or don’t understand how dangerous a situation is. Part of an abuser’s control can be minimising the seriousness of what they are doing. Being safe is important and there are things you can do to ensure your safety.
Sometimes it is hard to work out the danger or risks yourself. Police, and the state and territory support lines can help you work out risks and how to stay safe.
Steps to ensure your safety:
- Is there immediate danger? How likely is it that someone will hurt you? If necessary, you may have to move to somewhere safe. See ‘What should I do’ for detailed info
- Do you have support? Making a decision to leave a situation where you feel unsafe may be hard and scary. If possible, talk to someone you trust, like a friend, counsellor or youth worker
- Talk to the police: If you feel unsafe the police are good people to talk to. If you or someone you know has been hurt, the police will be able to help
- Believe in yourself: If someone is hurting you or threatening to, it can be hard to maintain your self-confidence. Remember it is never okay for someone to hurt or threaten to hurt you
- Know your rights: It may be a good idea to check out your legal rights. Laws vary from state to state.
Types of emotional abuse
Some types of emotional abuse can include:
- Verbal – yelling, insulting or swearing at someone
- Rejection – pretending not to notice someone’s presence, conversation or value
- Put downs – name calling, public embarrassment, calling someone stupid, blaming them for everything
- Being afraid – causing someone to feel afraid, intimidated or threatened
- Isolation – limiting freedom of movement, stopping someone from contacting other people (like friends or family)
- Money – controlling someone’s money, withholding money, preventing someone from working, stealing or taking money
- Bullying- purposely and repeatedly saying or doing hurtful things to someone.
Though physical violence is often seen as being more serious than emotional abuse, this is not the case. The scars of emotional abuse are real and long lasting. Emotional abuse can leave a person feeling depressed, anxious and even suicidal, as well as having a negative impact on self-esteem and confidence.
If you feel unsafe or unsure and would like to talk to someone. Please check out the help that is available. Don’t do this on your own.
Age: 12-25To talk to someone and get advice about tough issues
1800 650 890www.eheadspace.org.au
Age: 5-25 To talk to someone about anything that’s going on in your life. Kids Helpline has phone counselling 24/7
For support and advice in a personal crisis. Phone counselling 24/7 and online web chat available 8pm-4am AEST.
Information for this article was taken directly from ReachOut.com Australia