Domestic Violence – Who are the Victims?
Domestic violence in Australia is a hot and challenging topic at present.
But with Domestic Violence – who are the victims?
The Federal Government have recently poured funds into the scheme to help victims of violence, child abuse victims and women’s shelters access resources and raise awareness, as has the NSW Government.
I have worked personally as a Solicitor on hundreds of domestic violence cases and have seen the way cases can manifest, cause tension in families, impact children.
The cases can vary between small matters of common assault with no contact, to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, where a person has been accused of causing a punch, bruise to the face, head and overall body.
The problem with domestic violence in Australia is that we (like the rest of the world) have no way of knowing the ultimate truth of what happens behind closed doors of the domestic home.
Domestic violence can be characterized as controlling mental behaviour to verbal abuse and then to actual physical abuse.
Domestic violence in Australia in traditionally categorized as a problem with a male striking a woman.
However there are many types of domestic violence and men are also very likely to be victims.
In many cases of domestic violence it is assumed that women are the victims and hence, they hold the power to call police and say anything they wish.
My advice to clients is to use your head, leave the premises as soon as an argument starts, take your mobile device and keep a recording, photos, use a witness, call a family member, contact the nearest person to you to seek refuge and leave the scene.
It is a tragedy that as a society we assume women are the only victims of domestic violence, when in fact it impacts children and husbands/ male partners, sons and close family members.
If you are having difficulty talking through an issue with your partner, my advice would be to go to a public space, a park or shopping centre food court, McDonalds, or a cafe and discuss issues where people can see you.
ETB Legal have represented a number of clients who have partners that are diagnosed with Mental Health problems and they often have little rational idea as to how to behave.
What happens when a male is the victim?
In most cases this is something the police assume is not possible, that men are the perpetrators..
Yet we must open our minds to the problem, with one in three men being the victims of domestic violence in Australia.
Victims can experience a series of problems
IMPACTS ON MALE (and CHILD) VICTIMS
The impacts of family violence on male victims include:
- Fear and loss of feelings of safety
- Feelings of guilt and/or shame
- Difficulties in trusting others
- Anxiety and flashbacks
- Unresolved anger
- Loneliness and isolation
- Low self-esteem and/or self-hatred
- Depression, suicidal ideation, self-harm and attempted suicide
- Use of alcohol or other drugs to cope with the abuse
- Physical injuries
- Sexual dysfunction and/or impotence
- Loss of work
- Loss of home
- Physical illness
- Loss of contact with children and/or step-children
- Concern about children post separation.