Recently a formal research paper was released, backing up years of anecdotal evidence of the prevalence and extent of domestic violence in our communities. This is one of our great shames which is all around and lies just under the surface. The Federal Government and I'm sure the Opposition, are endeavoring to stamp this blight out. We will all receive a booklet in the mail. However, with all this publicity, there would be readers of this article who are still abusing their partners every day. If you are an offender, I appeal to you to think about what you are doing, and take steps to get help to overcome what is one of the most relationship destroying problems. Almost all the dysfunctional relationship cases we deal with at Valley Care Counselling Service have domestic violence in the mix somewhere. One of the problems is that men, who are by far most representative in these matters, try to minimize the act and call it by some other name. "I only pushed her once - her former partner bashed her for years". "She's got enough money for the food - after all it's me that works". "When she doesn't give me enough sex, I warn her I can get it anywhere". "After all, I'm the head of the house - even some churches says that". Whether the violence is physical, social, economic, emotional or sexual, and is unwanted or uninvited, it is not part of a truly caring relationship. Domestic violence is not just limited to partners. Anyone who lives in the domicile of the family and the extended family, and are violated, are victims of domestic violence. Violators cannot be allowed to continue. We need to 'out' them so that they are stopped in their tracks with the current victim and helped towards an understanding of their problem. If they won't be helped, at least they may be hindered from abusing again. Relationships can only work where trust and respect are present. When trust is broken, respect is lost. It takes time to rebuild trust and love cannot be responsive until a level of trust has been restored. If you are in and abusive relationship, and what you experience comes under any of the five abuse categories above, seek help today. You can sit down with a trusted counsellor at Valley Care - 0409 517273 or you could ring the special confidential counselling line set up by the Government - 1800 200 526
If you'd like to have your say write to me at PO Box 189 Blackburn Vic 3130
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