Not all domestic violence victims report the abuse committed against them. Abusive current partners or spouses are sometimes nor reported by the victims.It is a sad reality that abused men and women in relationships do not report domestic violence. Yes, men are also victims of domestic violence and just like women they do not report the incidents of domestic violence to the police.
This is especially alarming because despite the efforts of the police and the Australian government to put in place safety measures for victims nothing can be done for the victims until they come forth and report the abuse.
Protection orders could be availed by victims of domestic violence. These protection orders are designed to cover a wide range of abusive behaviour. Aside from the victims, police can also apply on their behalf for protection orders. Government and non-government organizations have also established hotlines which victims can call in times of distress. There is an abundance of help and support available to domestic violence victims.
So the question now is, why don’t victims report the acts of domestic violence inflicted on them?
There are some explanations. Victims are reluctant to report the perpetrator who is a current spouse or de facto partner. This is because while still in the relationship, the victim is prone to be forgiving towards the perpetrator. Emotions of loyalty, forgiveness and hope that the spouse or de facto partner will change his abusive behaviour are more dominant rather than the need to seek help. It can become a vicious cycle of violence and forgiveness. It seems that victims only come to realize the danger when the relationship has ended, and they have had time to reflect on the violence perpetrated against them.
Victims tend to downplay the abuse especially if it is committed by a current spouse or partner. This is part of the strategy of the perpetrator, to minimise the acts of domestic violence and provides excuses to the victim. Victims usually downplay the violence when there are no physical injuries or weapons involved.
Some victims don’t even consider it a crime if the domestic violence committed, did not involve weapons or infliction of physical injuries. There is perhaps a lack of education or information in this regard because domestic violence does not only involve physical abuse. Domestic violence can also be in the form of emotional and psychological abuse, economic abuse and verbal abuse.
Identifying the danger of domestic violence requires being objective about the actions of the perpetrator. Is your life in immediate danger because of the acts are done by your partner or spouse? It may be time to move out of the house and go to a safe place where the perpetrator cannot harass you. It is important to seek the help of police.
A protection order granted by a court specifies conditions which the perpetrator must comply. For instance, in the protection order, the violent spouse or partner may be ordered excluded from the family home. Standard conditions in a protection order include preventing the perpetrator from approaching or coming within a certain distance of the victim or good behaviour.
Victims are implored to remember that their safety is of very important and the only way to ensure it is to ask for help.