Could you be a victim of family violence and not know it?
The problem of family violence within Australia is well publicised, as evident from national awareness days such as White Ribbon Day.
However sadly despite such campaigns the problem remains widespread with statistics showing that one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by someone known to them and one in four children are exposed to domestic violence.
Turning to the question posed – it is possible to be a victim of family violence without the behaviour being explicitly and outwardly obvious to you or the people around you.
Importantly, the definition of ‘violence’ in the context of family violence is broad and has multiple aspects. It extends beyond what can be seen, in terms of physical violence and verbal threats, to other aspects of a relationship including financial, emotional and social abuse. It is also gender neutral and applies to all forms of relationships, and to both males and females.
However, the fact that the behaviour is not publicly expressed and is confined to the household does not make the behaviour any less unacceptable. Controlling and intimidating behaviour, whether it be expressed in explicit or subtle forms is family violence and steps can be taken to protect yourself and your children.
If you would like to discuss any concerns you have in relation to family violence feel free to call us on (03) 9364 7400 or make an enquiry via our website for a confidential and discrete discussion of your matter.
Alternatively, if you would like more information about family violence and connections to other support services you can visit the White Ribbon Australia website at https://www.whiteribbon.org.au.
By Nicholas Mensen
Solicitor, LLB (Hons), GDLP