What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence knows no barriers.  It can happen to anyone of any walk of life and any cultural background.  Despite the penetration of domestic violence in every realm of society the problem is often overlooked, excused or denied.  This is especially the case when the violence is emotional or psychological as there are no visible scars that the victim bears however, these are terrible insidious forms of abuse that leave the victims stripped of their self-esteem confidence and isolated from friends and family.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence arises when one person in an intimate relationship or marriages tries to dominate and control the other person.  The abusers sole goal is to gain control and maintain control over their victim.

Abusers do not play fair.  The have many tools in their arsenal of weapons including guilt, fear and intimidation, threats and physical assaults. Abusers may also try to maintain control by threatening your children, family and friends or family pets.

In order to deal with Domestic Violence we must first recognise the symptoms. Here is a breakdown of what a victim may be feeling and their partner’s behaviours whether that abuse is emotional, physical or controlling/coercive abuse.

Let’s look at emotional abuse:

Do you:

  • Are you afraid of your partner most of the time?
  • Do you avoid certain topics of conversation for fear of angering your partner?
  • Do you feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • Have you started to believe that you deserve to be mistreated?
  • Are you beginning to wonder if you are the crazy one?
  • Do you feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Does your partner:

  • Humiliate of yell at you?
  • Criticise or put you down, call you names?
  • Treat you terribly so as you are too embarrassed to catch up with family and friends?
  • Disregard your opinions or accomplishments?
  • See you as property and/or a sex object?

Let’s take a look at violent behaviour and threats:

Does your partner:

  • Have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • Hurt you, or threaten to hurt you or kill you?
  • Threaten to take your children away from you?
  • Threaten to self-harm if you leave them?
  • Force you to have sex against your will?
  • Destroy your belongings or things that you cause dear to you?

Let’s take a look at Controlling Behaviours:

Does your partner:

  • Do they control where you go and what you do?
  • Do they act jealous and possessive over you?
  • Do they restrict your contact with your friends and family?
  • Do the limit your access to finances, a phone and car?
  • Are they constantly checking up on you?

If you recognise any of the behaviours above in your relationship chances are you have been the victim of domestic violence.  Many victims of domestic violence describe their relationship as “walking on egg shells”.  These victims will at some point in time succumb to anxiety, depression or even physical illness as a consequence of living in this way.

If you recognise any of the abovementioned symptoms help is available. Abuse takes place in all the above forms and can happen to a woman, man heterosexual relationships or homosexual relationship.

Take the step today to leave this terrible situation behind.

If we can be of any assistance please feel free to contact Kathy Matri on (02) 4322 0251.