I feel like I need to speak out on behalf of the women, children and even men who are effected by Domestic violence.
Because in our country, it seems that more people are afraid of terrorists overseas than of their own neighbours. (i mean neighbours figuratively).
Sadly this week we have now seen at least 4 casualties of Domestic Violence. However, the media reported them without really focusing on the main issue here that 4 People within 5 days are dead at the hands of a loved one or relative…. :
Let me be clear….
Regardless of the location, catalyst or weapon, these incidents are all Domestic Violence related deaths. Sure one murderer may have been addicted to drugs, sure another murderer may have been part of a ‘bikie’ gang… but it still stands that people are dead because they were victims of domestic violence. Instead of putting a scene grabbing headline and eluding to another alternative for the deaths, how about we start labeling these deaths as they are – people being killed by people they once loved and cared for. Lets make this a NATIONAL CONVERSATION instead of sweeping it under the rug.
So why does our society continue to ‘tip toe’ around this very real threat ? Is it because we don’t want to think anyone we love is capable of hurting, let alone, killing us? Does that mean that perhaps, it’s a reflection on Australian people? That perhaps we aren’t as fun loving, laid back and ‘chilled’ as we seem?
It is so much easier for media and society to brand these deaths as related to something other than domestic violence. That way we can tackle the ‘real problem’ – such as ICE and Bikie Laws….
What this is actually doing is making it harder for victims of domestic violence to speak up as we are ignoring the real issue here – Domestic Violence is capable of being committed by ANYONE at ANY TIME…
Just look at Australian of The Year – Rosie Batty, she was a very well educated woman, she had a successful career and lived on a beautiful acreage in Victoria. She wasn’t part of the slums or involved with some bikie or ice addict. Two days after her son was murdered by his father, she bravely spoke out to the media and said:
“I want to tell everybody, that family violence happens to everybody. No matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are. It can happen to anyone, and everyone.” (source)
I don’t want to man bash here, and I think that moving forward there will be a strong focus on men being evil and capable of killing their partners/exes. Let me make it clear that we need to discuss Domestic Violence from every possible angle and not just focus on men, but women too who are capable and are guilty of domestic violence.
My father, my brothers, my sister and myself are victims of domestic violence. Yes, you read that right, my FATHER is a victim of domestic violence. I cannot even begin to explain the amount of times we all ended up hurt, scarred and broken after my mothers various ‘moments’ of insane bursts of anger and violence. You know the worst part was, I tried several times to explain to adults … police officers, teachers, neighbours and even doctors, that my mother was the one causing all this pain and hurt. I was treated like a silly little child, and nothing was ever investigated further. I began to feel hopeless and absolutely helpless and almost resigned myself to the fact that my mother would either kill me or one of my siblings before anyone paid any attention to what was happening.
To this day, people are still confused how my father (who is a big burly man at almost 6″) could have been violently attacked (I remember one time with a knife) by my petite 5″2′ mother, who weighs about 45kgs….
The truth is, while women are often overpowered by men physically, anyone is capable of causing violence and hurt and we need to acknowledge this to be able to start to turn our society around. Regardless of the relationship and front that people put forward, there often lies a dark background that sooner or later will come out.
My mother to this day, will not admit what happened to us as children and refuses to take responsibility for the years of mental trauma that follow from suffering from Domestic Violence.
The appalling truth in Australia is that in the last year, if you calculate all the deaths caused by domestic violence, it equates to more than one person a week. The even sadder truth behind this statistic is that the number is likely much higher, however often these deaths are recorded as something else. Sure they are recorded as ‘murder’ but it might not be acknowledged that that person was in fact murdered by someone who they knew and at one point loved and trusted.
The Government and Media seem to focus so strongly on outside terrorism and push towards creating such xenophobia and hatred for those who follow a different religion, wear different clothes and speak a different language. I can’t help but feel like we are being brainwashed to believe that people who look like us, live in the same country as us and are even our mates, lovers and relatives, are not capable of committing the same amount of violence and hateful acts.
We are so focused on believing evil doesn’t exist in our own backyard, that it happens right before our eyes without us noticing or knowing how to handle it.
Let’s just look at the statistics: the amount of Australian’s to die from terrorism in the past year is 2 (Martin Place Sydney Seige) compared to the amount of Australian women to die from Domestic Violence which is 65 by Sept 10th 2015.
Moreso, these statistics are just WOMEN – not children or men, and as I have experienced first hand, both children and men are very capable of being at the receiving end of domestic violence.
I understand how hard it is to come forward and reach out to someone to let them know you are suffering and need help. However, as a society we need to be more willing to accept the victims of DV before they become another fatality. Instead of sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring this issue, we need to put it at the forefront of our agenda.
Children need to grow up to learn that violence against anyone is not warranted or acceptable. Men and Women need to be able to report Domestic Violence in a comfortable manner and be able to seek refuge or help if they need to – particularly in the case of emergency or fearing for their lives. There also needs to be help available to those that commit Domestic Violence – some sort of rehabilitation or process to help them not commit violence again before they land themselves in jail for killing someone.
We need to talk, Australia, because before you know it, someone around you will become a victim of domestic violence and you won’t be educated on how to help or be prepared to have that difficult conversation to seek a resolution.
If you know of someone who is a victim, or you are a victim, you need to seek help and get out of this toxic relationship before you become a statistic. I will ALWAYS have an open door and an open heart for anyone who needs help or assistance. Please do not suffer in silence and hope it gets better, because my experience proved to me that it never does.
If you know of someone who is committing Domestic Violence, talk to them, seek help for them and make sure they are aware that what they are doing is far from right or socially acceptable. Let them know they are better than that; that violence cures nothing but destroys everything. Worst case scenario, report them to the police – don’t let the person you know become a name in the news for killing someone they loved.
Together, little steps and truths can become a big change in our society and how we tackle this very real, devastating issue. No one should have to live in fear in their very own homes. No one should have to wake up wondering if they’ll make it through the day without a new bruise or scar being added to their body. No one should have their life cut short because they trusted and loved someone with a violent temper and rage, and didn’t know how to leave safely…
I am grateful every day that my father had the strength to leave my mother and rescue us from her when she kidnapped us and took us 1000kms from home. I didn’t understand what was happening at the time (I was only 10), and I was angry at my father for a long time too. However, now that I am much older and understand how close I came to losing my life at the hands of my mother, I am passionate that no child, woman or man should experience brutal violence from someone they love.
So please, if you are passionate too – speak up, let your voice be heard, let your friends and family know that you won’t tolerate domestic violence and that you will be there for any one of them if they suffer.
Together we might be able to save a life.
The White Ribbon has a list of helpful numbers for men, women and children. If you need help or just need to talk please contact myself or one of these numbers – http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/finding-help
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