Family violence has always been a social issue. Yet, the lockdown and social isolation have aggravated the problem. Domestic violence is a bigger problem than it was before the pandemic.
Many families have suffered stress and anxiety as a result of Covid-19 and the lockdown that resulted. This should come as no surprise. Losses experienced include financial losses and the emotional distress of illness and loss of life.
At the same time, many families have had to cope on their own as relatives and friends remain socially distant.
Families who suffer domestic violence often feel alone. They may feel unable to share the burden with others. Yet, there is help at hand.
Most people think of domestic violence as physical aggression, and this is the most common manifestation. Yet, family violence is broader than that. It may include emotional, financial, sexual, and spiritual mistreatment.
The Family Act covers domestic violence. In its definition of family violence, the Act includes any type of abuse meted out with the intention of controlling, humiliating, or intimidating a current or former partner.
According to the statistics, 1 in 6 women experiences sexual or physical violence at the hands of a partner, current or former. For men, it is 1 in 16. Domestic violence affects the whole family. It is particularly detrimental to young children. One in four children will experience domestic violence. This, in turn, has a negative impact on their social, emotional, and physical wellbeing. It can lead to anxiety depression and domestic violence in the next generation.
If you or someone you know is suffering at the hands of their partner, there are a number of places created to help resolve the problem. One of these 1800respect offers services 24/7. You can contact them at 1800 737 732 or visit their website at 1800RESPECT.org.au.
There are several services available for the victims of abuse. These organisations will give you support and help you to stay safe even if you choose to continue to live with the perpetrator. These services will also help abusers to change their aggressive behaviour. They help children who have witnessed or experienced family violence too.
One such program is called Relationships Australia. You can contact them at 1300 364 277 or find their website at relationshipsnsw.org.au.
If you are in danger at any time, you should call the police. You can apply for a court order to protect you and your family from the aggressor. This is known as an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. If you are the victim of abuse, you should consider finding alternative accommodation. The Department of Communities and Justice will help with this issue.
Make sure that you stay in contact with family and friends and let them know how you are doing. You should also seek legal advice to find out what your options are.