Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Canberra’s Leading
Relationship Lawyers

Proactive and reactive approaches needed on family violence

By Greg Cornwell - 1 November 2016 9

Woman in fear of domestic violence. Photo: iStock

It’s good to see Federal and State/Territory governments joining forces to address domestic violence, funding a $100 million campaign against this behaviour.

Statistics indicate thousands of women are injured by partners each year, although I could find no break-up by State and Territory. Nevertheless we know it does occur here in the ACT as elsewhere, we have a selective $30 rates levy to prove it, and thus is a legitimate cause for concern.

Apparently this abuse can take a number of forms including physical, mental, financial and social and sometimes involves rape. Those affected cover all sections of society: rich and poor, ethnic and indigenous, rural and city, women and men.

As I pointed out in earlier opinions on the subject however, we do not know why domestic violence occurs and until we adopt a proactive rather than a reactive approach to the problem we will not be successful in properly addressing the issue.

Pamphlets, advertisements and articles might publicise the crime but will not help solve why normally sensible civilised men (and women) batter or psychologically hurt their partners.

The breakdown of loving relationships can be the result of much: immaturity, jealousy, incompatibility, failure to live up to expectations, age differences, financial hardship, even children, but unpleasant as the separation might be it does not always stem from assault. In many cases of domestic violence there is no intention of marriage breakup, yet the perceived failings above can be present.

So are we dealing with misogynists? But then why do they marry? Or are these men – let us concentrate upon males although the problem can apply to females too – so lacking in confidence they need a physical or verbal punching bag, a factor not always borne out by their behaviour elsewhere?

And why do the women stay with these men? For the sake of the children, no money, nowhere else to go? Even, oddly, love?

It is this dilemma society addresses and while it is both compassionate and understandable to do so our efforts do not go far enough if we are to control this social horror.

How much is society to blame for domestic violence? It has been around for a long time and just because it has more recently become the flavour of the month due to several well-publicised incidents is no reason not to curb the blight. We need to check our enthusiasm however, not to become too specialised or we might find ourselves in the Section 18c Racial Discrimination Act situation of trying to cover all bases.

Nevertheless liberalised alcohol, financial expectations and drug attitudes could play a part. Our increasing attention to our rights as opposed to our responsibilities leading to well-meaning privacy laws also protects the offender – for the sake of the family – from being named and removes any sense of public shame.

Finally, while I am reluctant to impose further controls upon society, there are no examinations for our suitability to marry, cohabit or beget children.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
9 Responses to
Proactive and reactive approaches needed on family violence
gooterz 9:51 pm 04 Nov 16

2200 males were killed if thats not domestic violence i don’t know what is.
2200 suicides

dungfungus 11:31 am 04 Nov 16

Veronicajer said :

while pamphlets, and brochures are a good way to raise awareness of this issue, it is not going to prevent it.
We need two things. One to stop it from ever happening and if it does happen, a secure and reliable way for these people to be able to seek help without it being known.
To stop it from happening, education is key. They should be taught in school the importance of respect in relationships and just all about balancing a relationship. It should be mandatory because it becomes such a big part of your life when you are older. It literally dictates the way your life goes so im surprised there isn’t any emphasis on this at school.
And for those individuals who have gone are going through domestic abuse, they should have a way to seek help safely. Concealed apps or email newsletters. People disguised as sales people leaving in pamphlets in houses they have received information about domestic violence. This issue needs to be handled with tact.

Wouldn’t is also be smart to explain also that it is a crime with custodial sentences resulting?
The current awareness program is too “touchy-feely”. Who cares if someone gets offended because of lack of “tact”.

Veronicajer 8:43 am 04 Nov 16

while pamphlets, and brochures are a good way to raise awareness of this issue, it is not going to prevent it.
We need two things. One to stop it from ever happening and if it does happen, a secure and reliable way for these people to be able to seek help without it being known.
To stop it from happening, education is key. They should be taught in school the importance of respect in relationships and just all about balancing a relationship. It should be mandatory because it becomes such a big part of your life when you are older. It literally dictates the way your life goes so im surprised there isn’t any emphasis on this at school.
And for those individuals who have gone are going through domestic abuse, they should have a way to seek help safely. Concealed apps or email newsletters. People disguised as sales people leaving in pamphlets in houses they have received information about domestic violence. This issue needs to be handled with tact.

Charlotte Harper 10:55 am 03 Nov 16

Garfield said :

Rollersk8r said :

You are way off – 1000 domestic violence deaths per year is completely incorrect. A quick check of Google indicates 50 is the approximate figure (of women killed by their partner in Australia).

The article says thousands injured each year, not killed. The link Charlotte graciously supplied says there were almost 29,000 domestic assault cases in NSW alone in 2014, so Greg could have said tens of thousands. In addition to the roughly 50 women killed each year by their partners, there are another 50 people killed each year, probably mainly children killed by one parent or the other.

Ah, this is my fault and a misunderstanding, sorry. I checked with Greg re his original statement that 1000 domestic violence-related deaths and he was unable to provide me with a link to the data so I took that line out of the story but didn’t explain that I had done so, which took away the context for the earlier comment. Apologies!

Acton 6:05 pm 01 Nov 16

Child abuse is also a form of domestic violence.

How many children are abused compared to adults and is the abuse of children a far greater problem than domestic violence experienced by women? Children are physically, emotionally and financially more vulnerable and dependent than adults, so it is reasonable to suspect that violence by adults against children will be more widespread and severe in impact than violence by adults against other adults.

The ABC FactCheck says that a COAG report identified a lack of data on child victims.
In asking what causes child abuse and who are the abusers, another study noted the high frequency of single mothers among high-risk groups.
http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/previous%20series/vt/1-9/vt03.html
It seems to be an under-reported and under-researched subject.

Could it be that reporting child abuse as domestic violence would draw attention to the very inconvenient fact that paradoxically; women are the main perpetrators of domestic violence?

Garfield 2:35 pm 01 Nov 16

Rollersk8r said :

You are way off – 1000 domestic violence deaths per year is completely incorrect. A quick check of Google indicates 50 is the approximate figure (of women killed by their partner in Australia).

The article says thousands injured each year, not killed. The link Charlotte graciously supplied says there were almost 29,000 domestic assault cases in NSW alone in 2014, so Greg could have said tens of thousands. In addition to the roughly 50 women killed each year by their partners, there are another 50 people killed each year, probably mainly children killed by one parent or the other.

Charlotte Harper 2:02 pm 01 Nov 16

Rollersk8r said :

You are way off – 1000 domestic violence deaths per year is completely incorrect. A quick check of Google indicates 50 is the approximate figure (of women killed by their partner in Australia).

I’m emailing Greg to find out where he got that figure. Meanwhile, the ABC has done some serious fact-checking into the figures around on this issue here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-06/fact-file-domestic-violence-statistics/7147938

dungfungus 9:57 am 01 Nov 16

You have asked some questions there that need to be addressed.

I think all of us know someone who has been affected by domestic/family violence.

I know of several people and in all instances, the male perpetrator was drunk after been boozing (and sometimes gambling) late into the night at licensed premises.
I believe if alcohol/gambling wasn’t freely available the incidence of family/domestic violence would be dramatically reduced.

I am old enough to remember six o’clock closing and the transition to what is now virtually 24/7 access to alcohol and I believe the rise in domestic/family violence has been commensurate with the relaxation in alcohol availability laws.
Changing these won’t happen because of the conflict of the interest with governments who derive revenue from the pubs/clubs that sell alcohol yet they are now “double dipping” by levying some of us (not all of us) to fund support for victims and pointless advertising “change of attitude” campaigns.

Rollersk8r 9:49 am 01 Nov 16

You are way off – 1000 domestic violence deaths per year is completely incorrect. A quick check of Google indicates 50 is the approximate figure (of women killed by their partner in Australia).

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site