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Domestic violence – What can we do?

By Radio Stew 30 March 2015 27

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There has been a spate of domestic violence-related crimes in the Tuggeranong area recently, including two murders. The brutality and timing of these crimes have left residents shocked.

I have been asking myself what is my part to play in reducing these sorts of crimes. I don’t pretend to have the full answer, however, here are my thoughts.

Canberra is going through some hard times with many families struggling financially. This places extra stress on people which can turn small arguments into much bigger ones.

These days people do tend to keep to themselves and we have lost a lot as a society around being a community and helping those around us. Our lifestyles make it easy to go to and from work and never see our neighbours.

How can individuals address these issues?

1. I invite men to stand up and make it clear that violence of any kind is not okay. When we see negative behaviour in our bros, we need to say something. If you’re interested, you can sign up to the White Ribbon Initiative.

2. We need to make it clear to both men and women in our community that it is okay to ask for help. Don’t let stress build up. Men often think it is a sign of weakness if they do ask for help. We all need help at times in our lives and there is nothing wrong with asking. Man Therapy is a great resource.

3. Let’s make sure women feel safe to speak up if they are suffering from abuse or feeling threatened. Add your voice.

4. Let’s socialise more in our local communities. Get to know your neighbours. Support projects like Parties at the Shops.

While these small steps won’t eliminate the issue of domestic violence, I do believe that they help communities move in the right direction.

What are your thoughts?

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Domestic violence – What can we do?
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Postal 2:17 am 01 Apr 15

Oh and a good comment from one of OP’s links: http://speakup.org.au/add-your-voice/

“Stop blaming violence against women on ‘men’s disempowerment’”

Postal 2:09 am 01 Apr 15

How does one identify a potential partner as being likely to abuse?

The fact is many abusers start out appearing completely normal. And it is often only once relationships have been established that the real abuse and control starts coming out.

When a single incident occurs which results in a dramatic death, the public is informed. What the general public usually never sees is the systematic abuse which occurred prior to that, behind closed doors. Although it surrounds us every day.

We all know women right now who are being abused at home. Whether or not they are being bashed or murdered, they are being shouted at, degraded, dragged across the room, humiliated, on the receiving end of possessive behaviour, sexually assaulted or raped, with threats to kill, threats to suicide if she leaves, pets abused or killed, financial control, children caught in the middle, overwhelming emotional manipulation.

These women can be in your workplace. Or next to you in the supermarket queue. They may be cheery and putting on a brave face, or they may be tired and confused.

They may be the person who you look at and think ‘God, can’t she crack a smile?’ They may be serving you at the counter and they’re a bit slow and forgetful while you’re annoyed and you think they’re dumb. They may be taking a lot of sick days and are close to losing their job. They may be withdrawing from their friends and from life. They may have been putting up with too much for years, or sadly, decades.

They may have been treated poorly by their parents and have grown up not knowing any different.

They may blame themselves and think they don’t deserve any better.

He may have been so nice, how could this be happening?

They may have reached out to the police, doctors, friends, only to be disbelieved or told there is nothing that can be done.

They may be incredibly isolated, despite being surrounded by people.

They may not be able to get away because…they have nowhere else in the world to go.

Domestic abuse is about control. While female-to-male domestic abuse undoubtedly happens (and is under-reported), male-to-female abuse is known to comprise the majority of cases. It has such an impact on people’s capacity to live their lives well and contribute to society. The after-effects can continue long after the relationship has ended, with health issues, PTSD and more. Domestic abuse can affect a woman’s earning capacity across her life.

I absolutely see domestic abuse as a feminist issue, and I strongly believe that attempting to use ‘mental health’ as an explanation simply avoids facing its sheer brutality. (Ditto for blaming alcohol – abusers use alcohol as permission to attack, the alcohol doesn’t cause the abuse.)

What can we do?

– Educate school kids AND ADULTS about signs to look out for (e.g. the Love Bites schools program in NSW). Domestic abuse is not just acts of physical violence, and it reaches all social classes and backgrounds.
– Ensure ample funding for frontline services which provide real support and accommodation (without a preference for religious organisations)
– Fund legal services
– Call the police if something is going on
– Listen to them if they need support

And be kind, because you never know what someone is going through.

Radio Stew 11:31 pm 31 Mar 15

Of course common sense should prevail in the situation, the point is to talk about it as males and make sure everyone is aware it is not ok. Also to let each other know it is ok to talk about it if you think you have a problem with your temper and want help.

Testfest said :

I would be very careful with your suggestion number 1 – when you say “bros” are you talking about guys that you already know? Or just random people on the street?

Going up to a random person (male or female) and informing them that their violent behaviour is unacceptable is not the safest advice I have seen on this forum – google Brendan Keilar for the reason why. Confrontation often leads to escalation.

I think a better move is to call the AFP immediately on 131 444 and report what is happening, and then film it on your phone if you can do so safely.

I would also add another point to your list:

5. Don’t ignore or trivialise male victims of domestic violence either. See http://www.oneinthree.com.au/ for more info. Let’s try and stop violence against everyone…

Testfest said :

I would be very careful with your suggestion number 1 – when you say “bros” are you talking about guys that you already know? Or just random people on the street?

Going up to a random person (male or female) and informing them that their violent behaviour is unacceptable is not the safest advice I have seen on this forum – google Brendan Keilar for the reason why. Confrontation often leads to escalation.

I think a better move is to call the AFP immediately on 131 444 and report what is happening, and then film it on your phone if you can do so safely.

I would also add another point to your list:

5. Don’t ignore or trivialise male victims of domestic violence either. See http://www.oneinthree.com.au/ for more info. Let’s try and stop violence against everyone…

Mysteryman 3:42 pm 31 Mar 15

sepi said :

One woman is dying every week at the hands of their male partner.
This is far more serious than ‘men who slap their wives’.

Only a handful of people died from One-punch attacks and the law sprang into action straight away with serious sentences and the ‘coward punch’.

What are you suggesting? We already have laws against domestic violence. But it’s difficult to enforce them if victims choose not to come forward.

sepi 2:41 pm 31 Mar 15

One woman is dying every week at the hands of their male partner.
This is far more serious than ‘men who slap their wives’.

Only a handful of people died from One-punch attacks and the law sprang into action straight away with serious sentences and the ‘coward punch’.

rommeldog56 1:23 pm 31 Mar 15

Alexandra Craig said :

As others have said; prevention is better than cure.

Boys need to be educated from an early age that violence against women is not okay. They need to be taught that rape is not okay, that giving a woman a bit of a slap around is not okay, that psychological abuse is not okay, and that they should always stand up and speak out if they see it or know of it occurring.

If you want to simplify it, boys/men should always keep this in mind: ‘Would I be okay with this if someone did it to my mum or my sister?’

Of course, the answer is always no.

Why do we always want to point the bone at just one example of what really is the much wider issue of violece in society everywhere – not just domestic viloence against females. What about the much larger issue of violence male-male ?

Ever seen a Rugby League match ? Have you seen how illegal violent actions against a player are delt with by the codes governing bodies – often pretty lightly ? What about the courts of law giving perpertrators what amounts to a slap on the wrist with a wet lettace. Perpertrators of violent actions of any sort seem to be able to just laugh it off.

Male on male violence is also increasing. You only have to walk around the streets to see guys who look agressive and project an aura of potential violence. Durgs and grog are major contributing factors.

All violence in society needs to be addressed. There is so much of it on TV, at the movies, on news reports, on video games, etc, that it seems to be the norm now. To single out violence against females – however abhorent that is – is a denial of general violence in society and the causes.

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