Domestic Violence in Australia

A wise well-travelled man once told me he could always tell how advanced a country is by how they treat their women. He told me this probably 5 years ago and I thought you know what Australia is pretty good we’re pretty lucky. I think we’re doing ok. Of course, I’ve come from a great family. Domestic violence is not part of our lives. I am fortunate to have a supportive husband and we have a pretty good life.

That’s not to say I haven’t been a victim in the past and I do feel lucky that I was able to navigate my life away from the threats. Lately, in the Australian media, the only headline that is overtaken the current bushfires is the horrendous murder-suicide, here in Brisbane. Hanna Clarke and her three children were murdered by her estranged husband who then went on to take his own life. I don’t want to describe the events, it’s too sad. You can see read the story by Brisbane Times here.

I’m not trying to understand what went through his mind or the events leading up. What I am concerned about is how did this happen in the first place? Where was the help for Hanna and her children? Or her estranged husband? I just can’t shake it on my head why another human being could do that? What on earth makes anyone think it’s ok the end someone else’s life especially someone you were once married to and raised children with? I understand mental health is still quite stigmatised in Australia. I do believe most of us are working hard to break that barrier and assist. But that change is not happening fast enough.

I rarely write opinion pieces in my blogs. It’s normally how to better your business brand or funny shit that happens to me.. But this story has been rolling around in my head for weeks. I had to get it out. I had to write something. I felt like I have been living under a rock when I started to do some research on domestic violence in Australia. 

Check out the statistics from the AIHW report: Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019.

1 woman was killed every 9 days and 1 man every 29 days by a partner between 2014–15 and 2015–16

Indigenous people were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised for family violence as non-Indigenous people in 2016–17

2.2 million Australians have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous partner

26,500 children aged 0–9 were assisted by specialist homelessness services due to domestic violence in 2017–18

What the fuck is going on in our country? This land we love so much?! There are always external factors to consider and I’m sure there are a fair few Aussies that think it only happens to those that have migrated to our country. But have you seen the fucking news lately? Sadly in some cases, the domestic violence isn’t even reported in indigenous communities. Nor are there reports on the domestic violence on our men and boys. I had to dig deep to find any info on male domestic violence victims. The only legit one I could find was One in Three.

I realise a majority of the victims in domestic violence is against women and girls BUT that is no excuse to not include the attacks on our men and boys. Women can be as cruel and controlling as men. In fact, I don’t think your gender weighs in at all when it comes to that behaviour.

I realise a majority of the victims in domestic violence are women and girls BUT that is no excuse to not include the attacks on our men and boys. Women can be as cruel and controlling as men. I don’t have the answers, but I feel like awareness and support are key. It always starts at home. Speak to your kids or family. Talk openly and freely about what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. Watch how you and your partner communicate with each other, the kids see this and will impact how they perceive relationships in the future. 

If you are having trouble look to your local support groups for help. If you don’t get the answer you need, go further. Sometimes finding the right person to speak too takes time. If you want to help others, share the hotlines for Domestic Violence but most importantly start the conversations. 

White Ribbon Australia have contact details for anyone needing help, women, men and children.

DV Hotlines
Tracey OBrien Misfit Branding

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