Sadly, domestic and family domestic violence is a reality. One woman dies every week in Australia due to domestic Violence (White Ribbon, 2018), which includes different types of abuse such as physical, psychological, sexual, and financial. That is more than fifty women that die every year at the hand of their partner or ex-partner.
Overwhelmingly, in Australia, many of the adult victims are women, and from all walks of life. Many of the women affected by domestic violence are affluent, strong women with solid support networks and a good understanding of their rights. Of course, women in lower socio-economic circumstances are especially vulnerable, given how much harder as they have less financial means, it can be for them to leave an abusive relationship, especially if they have children. But it can happen to anyone, including though less so, to men.
Know the Signs of Domestic Violence
You can only put an end to domestic violence when you recognise it. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand that they are a victim of domestic violence. It is a very confronting situation to find yourself in, particularly if you a strong, independent individual.
Here are some types of behavior that contribute to domestic violence:
- Physical abuse involves different actions such as the assault on the body, destruction of property, and dangerous driving;
- Emotional abuse involves behaviors and actions that undermine victim’s self-esteem and self-worth;
- Sexual abuse includes sexual activity without consent, sex without protection, forceful sex, and sexually degrading the partner;
- Social abuse happens when a partner socially alienates the other partner;
- Verbal abuse includes verbal humiliation and attacks to undermine partner’s personality and self-esteem such as sending abusive texts or emails and telling lies about you;
- Economic abuse happens when a partner takes control of all finances, restraining access to a bank account for another partner; and
- Any behavior that is threatening or intimidating.
Know How to End Domestic Violence
It is very brave to seek help and it is very sensible to protect yourself from domestic violence. Having a clear head helps you to make important life decisions.
Here is what you can do if you are in any immediate danger or already a victim of domestic violence in Australia.
Obtain a Protective Order From the Court
If you think you are a victim of domestic violence, it is really important that you take all the steps you need to obtain a protective order from the court. At Collective Family Law Group, we are experts in helping people obtain the right protection orders.
In some states, this is called an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order and in others, it is legally known as Domestic Violence Order. The terms vary, depending on your circumstances, but generally, these are enforceable directions to an abusive partner to keep them away from you and prevent them from hurting or threatening you.
Here are your options or paths to obtain these orders against your violent partner:
- If you find yourself in danger or there is an altercation, call the police immediately who will take out an Order on your behalf;
- Attend the police station or local Court registry to file your own application for orders; or
- Seek legal advice to file an application for a Domestic Violence Order.
It could be overwhelmingly difficult to leave a situation where you feel unsafe and unhappy. To combat this scary situation, it’s important to get support along with talking to the police and get protective orders. Contact us at Collective Family Lawyers to consult with experts on the steps to take during domestic violence.
Talk to someone you trust. Get your friends involved and tell your co-workers about your situation.
Believe in Yourself
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to keep believing in yourself. Domestic violence can easily shake your confidence and self-esteem. You may find it easy to blame yourself for everything that has resulted in abuse.
Never blame yourself. It is ‘wrong’ for someone to hurt you or threaten you. The best way forward is to believe in you and take necessary action instead of taking the blame.
Recognising and taking action against domestic violence is important. No one has the right to hurt you or your children in any way or expose your children to violent, abusive behavior. When you are a victim, there are clear pathways to protect yourself, such as go to the police to file a complaint and obtain protective orders from the court. We understand this is easier said than done for many victims. Believe in yourself and start a new life without your abusive partner.
Contact Collective Family Law Group for a FREE initial appointment.