Domestic violence occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempt to physically or psychologically dominate or harm the other. While women are at greater risk of family, domestic and sexual violence, men are more likely to experience violence from strangers and in a public place. Women are most likely to know the perpetrator (often their current or a previous partner), and the violence usually takes place in their home. Domestic violence can be exhibited in many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation or threats of violence to name a few and we will unpack these further in a moment. Domestic violence occurs in all geographic areas of Australia and all socioeconomic and cultural groups.
One in 6 Australian women and 1 in 16 men have been subjected, since the age of 15, to physical and/or sexual violence by a current or previous cohabiting partner (ABS 2017b). Some groups of people are at greater risk of family, domestic and sexual violence, particularly Indigenous women, young women, pregnant women, women separating from their partners, women with disability and women experiencing financial hardship. Women and men who experienced abuse or witnessed domestic violence as children (before the age of 15) are also at increased risk.
Nearly 2.1 million women and men witnessed violence towards their mother by a partner, and nearly 820,000 witnessed violence towards their father, before the age of 15. People who, as children, witnessed partner violence against their parents were 2–4 times as likely to experience partner violence themselves (as adults) as people who had not (ABS 2017b). Is it fair to say that history has a habit of repeating itself? What we accept will continue, and we must change history not only for ourselves but for the generations to come.
To read more or to listen via the podcast click here https://carmendebono.com.au/domestic-violence/
Written by Carmen Debono