As demonstrated by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; in Australia, 1 woman is killed every 9 days by a partner. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 16 men in Australia have been the victims of physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner.
While these statistics are significant, they only represent a figure of domestic violence incidents that are reported to the police. A great deal of it goes unreported, and so the actual figures are likely much higher.
The consequences of domestic violence are long-reaching for victims. Victims of domestic violence can suffer from both physical injury and long-lasting mental health problems. Domestic violence is also a common beginning of homelessness when escaping a violent partner can leave victims with nowhere to go.
Domestic violence can take many forms, such as:
Between partners, emotional abuse is one of the most common forms of domestic violence. Even without an element of physical violence, emotional abuse can be just as harmful. It may be difficult to define what emotional abuse is; if you find that your partner undermines you, confuses you, or threatens to leave you for not doing what they want, then this could be emotional abuse.
Gaslighting is a common type of emotional abuse that often occurs in domestic violence relationships. It is a form of psychological manipulation that aims to make the victim doubt their sanity, often leading to lowered self-esteem and a sense of dependency upon the abuser.
This includes rape, sexual assault, and other unwanted sexual behaviours. Sexual abuse in common in domestic violence relationships, often used by the abuser to exercise power over their victims. Contrary to the common myth that rapists are usually strangers down a dark alley, most sexual assaults are committed within a relationship.
This can happen in controlling relationships when one partner attempts to keep the other isolated from their family and friends. This often occurs alongside other controlling behaviours such as dictating where you go, what you wear, and which friends you can see.
If your partner controls all your finances and decides what money you have access to, this can be a form of domestic violence. Ensuring you are financially dependent upon them and have to ask them for money is a way of maintaining a power imbalance in a relationship.
Being physically hurt or threatened within a relationship is serious, and shouldn’t be ignored. There is plenty of support available in Australia for those needing to escape a physically violent relationship. At present times such situations can be exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic; it is more important than ever to seek assistance if you are in a domestic violence relationship.
If you are having relationship problems or have concerns regarding domestic violence, we are here to help.