Domestic violence affects 470,309 Australian households each year.
Domestic violence caused at least 89 deaths in 2008-10; and 6,500 hospital admissions in 2013-14. Victims of domestic violence often reach out to people within their community for help.
Remember that the victim’s safety is the most important thing to consider. If the perpetrator discovers that their victim has told someone about the abuse, they will often receive violent reprisal.
If someone confides in you that they are a victim of domestic violence, you must be careful what you do with that information. Be careful that the perpetrator doesn’t find out that you know while they have access to the victim.
The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when they leave the relationship. This is likely to be because the perpetrator of domestic violence aims to use fear to gain control over their victims.
Beyond the physical danger, people who have been victims of domestic violence often have no access to financial support, family support or friends as the perpetrators of domestic violence have often spent years separating their victims from these in order to gain greater control.
Many victims of domestic violence manage to escape because of the support provided by a friend, relative or colleague.
Your support is invaluable to them even if it’s just listening without judgement, or providing practical support such as a place to stay.
3. Hegarty, K.; Forsdike-Young, K.; Tarzia, L.; Schweitzer, R.; Vlais, R.; Identifying and responding to men who use violence in their intimate relationships; The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (2016) AFP VOL.45, NO.4, p 176 – 182.
4. Wilson, M., & Daly, M. (1993). Spousal homicide risk and estrangement. Violence and Victims, 8(1), 3-16.