AT the fourth annual Midland March That Matters last Thursday Andrea Taylor from Koolkuna talked about family and domestic violence and how it does not discriminate against race, age, sex or social status.
The eastern region domestic violence services representative said it was not confined to people living in particular social or economic areas or situations, or to the family struggling to make ends meet.
Nor was it only women and children who were victims, men were also victims as were older people.
“Family and domestic violence is not just about the imbalance of power or the physical assaults,’’ she said.
“Just as destructive are the psychological, emotional and financial abuses.
“We have seen an increase in the amount of drug-induced domestic violence and we are seeing a steady and alarming increase in the abuse of elders from members of their own families.
“We must also consider the children who witness these acts of violence and how they think and feel about themselves as a result of the situation they are in.
“This is not to blame the victim for being in this situation, there are many reasons why women and men stay in violent relationships.’’
She said as someone in a domestic violence situation struggled to cope they were asking themselves questions about where they would go, how they would survive financially, how the other person would react when they left and what could happen if they were found, what to tell family and friends and how to cope with the shame of what they had been hiding from family and friends.
“As a non-government domestic violence specialist I have viewed and assessed 3267 reports of family and domestic violence from January 1, 2017 until October 31, 2017 in the Midland district.
“This is not the total amount police attended, these are high risk incidents and incidents that involve children being present and witnessing family and domestic violence.
“There needs to be more accountability on the perpetrator of this type of violence, the shift of power needs to swing the other way.
“Again we must not forget that there are men out there who are in violent relationships and endure the same shame and pain.’’
She said if people saw signs of violence happening within their immediate and extended family they should take action.
“There is help out there.’’
Midland detective Matt Bethune sang a song he wrote about some of the hardships both victims and police officers encounter when dealing with domestic violence issues.
The song, titled 329, is available on iTunes, with all proceeds going to help support victims of domestic violence.
For help contact:
Relationships Australia Midland on 6164 0480, Midland Women’s Health Place on 9250 2221, North Metro Domestic Violence Services on 9374 0433, Midlas on 9250 2123, Women’s domestic violence helpline on 9223 1188 or the men’s domestic violence helpline on 9223 1199.