****Last week 6 Women lost their lives to Domestic Violence in Australia****
I myself have experienced domestic violence in more than one form and so will 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men. After all the deaths last week and not standing up for myself due to fear and feeling ashamed when I was put through such horrible things I need to make a stand. It is time for ALL AUSTRALIANS to make a stand and say enough is enough. On Friday October 12th 5:30pm WA time so 8:30pm Eastern states I am asking everyone to share your stories and support with the hashtag #AustraliaStopDomesticViolence on your social media be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc to raise awareness to try help make a change to stop Domestic Violence in Australia. This is so families and friends don’t have to bury another loved one. So people feel safe to leave when they feel unsafe instead of feeling trapped. So the government steps in and stops cutting funding to the most vulnerable. Please save the date and set a reminder for Friday October 12th to share your support and help make change in Australia.
There are many forms of domestic violence:
The number of people affected by domestic violence is sickening 1/3 women and 1/6 men so amongst your friends and family you will know several affected by domestic violence. Lets look at some of the stats first of all for women (stats thanks to White Ribbon Australia)
- Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children
- 1 woman on average will be murdered every week because of domestic violence
- 40% of women continue to experience violence from their ex partner even after they separate.
- 1 in 6 woman have experienced stalking
- 1 in 2 Women will experience sexual harassment.
- 1 in 6 girls abused before the age of 15
- Leading cause of homelessness in children is domestic violence
- Children that experience DV to themselves or their parent have a higher rate of social and emotional problems than other children
The stats that really hit home that things are getting worse and that re-education programs for young people to target these issues need to happen are
- 1 in 4 young people think its normal for guys to pressure girls into sex
- 1 in 3 young people don’t think that controlling someone is a form of violence
- 1 in 4 young people don’t think its serious when guys insult or verbally harass girls.
Violence against women is estimated to cost Australia $22 billion a year. That is with all the funding cuts the government continue to make putting more people at risk. The stats are sickening / scary and the cost of the violence is astronomical. The government need to get a plan in place for starters young people being educated about DV, the effects of DV and eradicating the sick toxic masculinity that’s rife in Australia. Toxic Masculinity is the pushed stereotype we see here in Australia that men and boys are not allowed to express certain emotions or not aloud to cry. Putting social expectations that they are meant to be tough aggressive alpha types that are uncaring and in charge. They are unable to explore who they are as very set lines of what men should be like and what women should be like. Its 2018 not the middle ages we are meant to evolve this Toxic masculinity needs to stop. Feeling emotions in a healthy manner is what we are meant to do not suppress them and become volatile. Telling kids they can’t feel things can turn them into ticking violent time bombs that explode when they get older. It doesnt help that DV is swept under the rug with people embarrassed to talk about it. NOW is the time to talk.
The police are at a loss with domestic violence between picking up people who have violated the terms of a VRO and then are released soon after by the courts to re offend and traumatize their victim. Police being called out to jobs at the same place several times as victims are afraid to leave for fear of homelessness or they have tried leaving before and have been stalked or mentally broken down by the perpetrator. The authority the police have only goes so far the court system needs to back up the work the police have done instead of slapping the perps on the wrist. I have friends that have lived in fear with their exs that violated the VRO 6 times in one case and still no charges were laid.
The Prison system when men are actually sentenced needs better re-education programs in regards to domestic violence to stop them re offending when they are out. Instead they are very much boys clubs egging each other on where prison guards have lost hope and stop reporting what prisoners say when they brag about re-offending when they get out. The system is very much broken. Then there are the women that finally stand up for themselves that are getting beaten by their partners and one day decide to grab a weapon to protect themself and they end up killing their abuser and end up in jail.
At the end of the day it all comes down to the abuser wanting control “Domestic violence can be dressed up, you can use fancy words, but it comes down to one thing. Control. The need for the offender to control the victim. And that need for control comes from their own inadequacy.” Sean McDermott.
This is so important to me to make change after living through 3 DV relationships.
- The first being when I was only 15 where my boyfriend had isolated me from my friends and psychologically tormented me to the point I was an anxious mess. Then a week after he broke up with me and i thought i was free he broke into my home when I was getting ready for school held me at knife point and sexually assaulted me. I eventually got away and phoned the police. He was later charged with aggravated burglary only and a vro was put in place that he violated twice.
- I was in another at the age of 19/20 that was Physically and Sexually violent and when I left him he stalked me for months after. I had to go over seas for an extended period to escape. He later married and did the same to his wife traumatizing her and their 2 children. She left after a very violent assault.
- In more recent years I ended up in a DV relationship that was Emotionally, verbally and financially abusive.
4 out of the 6 women in my family have been sexually assaulted. A man close to me who does not wish to be named has been in 2 DV relationships where his partners assaulted him. After talking to friends the amount of others that have lived through domestic violence and sexual assault is too many to mention. We all have people dear to us affected by Domestic violence. The Violence needs to stop.
There are a few ways you can help make a difference to people affected by domestic violence. You could donate to local women’s shelters’. They always need clothing for women and children of all ages. You could donate to https://www.sharethedignity.com.au/ or https://youthoffthestreets.com.au to name a few.
If you need help you can call 1800 RESPECT
Allot of information about domestic violence can be found on http://theredheartcampaign.org/ or https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/
How many times are we going to have to look to the sky and say goodbye to another lost to domestic violence. It is time for us as a nation to regain control of this epidemic to share our stories and support at the same time on Friday October 12th 5:30pm Western Australia and 8:30pm Eastern states so we can to make a difference and spark change by joining in. It is time the government and us as a nation stood together and said #AustraliaStopDomesticViolence
I hope the links are helpful and I hope to see everyone posting their stories and support with #AustraliaStopDomesticViolence