Someone respects you when they accept that you have a right to do and say what you want.
Women NSW describe Domestic Violence to include violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by a partner, carer or family member to control, dominate or instil fear. Domestic and family violence can take many forms including emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse.
On average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.
One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
One in four Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.
Women are five times more likely than men to require medical attention or hospitalisation as a result of intimate partner violence, and five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.
Of those women who experience violence, more than half have children in their care.
(Courtesy Australian Institute of Criminology 2015 & ABS Personal Safety Survey 2012)
Violence against women and children is not acceptable for any reason. You are not responsible for any form of abuse and are not alone with the pain and suffering you are experiencing.
There is always the hope that the situation will improve and this keeps us locked into the abusive situation with our dreams of a happy and harmonious family life. To hold on to this hope and dream we will keep the peace at all cost. This is where we start walking on egg shells waiting for the next cycle of abusive behaviour. Our hope is sustained by the promises by the abuser and the disappointments when the behaviour re-appears.
Leaving a violent relationship permanently can take on average six attempts; each time women find they become stronger, clearer and more confident.
In recent times the danger of choking or strangulation has been identified. Women who have been choked, where his hands have been put around their neck or in their mouth, can months later suffer serious illnesses or even die. BE AWARE OF THE RISK OF CHOKING/STRANGULATION
UNDERSTANDING DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE
To determine if your relationship is abusive you need to look at what the other person is doing, how it affects your life, how it makes you feel and where the balance of power lies in the relationship. Trust your intuition - if something does not feel right to you then it is not ok.
FORMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Fear can be the most powerful means of control. Fear can be created through any behaviour which is used to intimidate you and which takes away your power.
Intimidation includes breaking your possessions, intimidating body language, hostile and aggressive questioning, constant calls, emails, text messages and stalking.
Physical abuse includes physical harm to you, your children, your property, family, friends and pets. It may also involve the threat of weapons.
Sexual Abuse includes any forced or unwarranted sexual interaction. This may include: forced sexual acts, harassment, or sexual harm.
Verbal abuse includes constant put-downs, insults and verbal threats. Verbal abuse is a humiliating experience and over time can destroy your self-esteem and self-belief.
Emotional/psychological abuse includes behaviour/actions and comments to undermine your sense of self and destroy your self confidence/worth.
Spiritual abuse includes ridiculing your spiritual beliefs and/or excluding you from taking part in cultural or spiritual activities.
Financial abuse occurs when the abuser takes control over your financial resources. This may include not allowing you to work or making the decisions about the money you earn or spend.
Social Abuse is when the abuser criticises, jokes about or puts you down in front of family, friends, work friends, etc and/or controls where you go and who you see. These are attempts to isolate you from family and friends.
Cyber bullying/cyber harassment includes use of email, instant messaging, chat rooms, mobile phones or other forms of information and digital technology (including social media) to harass, humiliate or intimidate.