Domestic Violence: Can this be called family terrorism? - Great Health Guide
Domestic Violence: Can this be called family terrorism?

Domestic Violence: Can this be called family terrorism?

This article is a preview of the many articles from our upcoming magazine in Issue 3. For more articles like this, please subscribe to the Great Health Guide magazine – (subscription FREE for limited time only)
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Domestic violence: Can this be called family terrorism? written by Helen Dodd

Who are terrorists? Terrorists are those who inflict terror on individuals for their own gratification. They may have been raised in a group where inflicting terror was the main method of domination.  They do not recognise the laws of the country and refuse to be held responsible for their own actions. They accuse other individuals of causing the problem. When they cannot get their own way or are defeated, they may resort to killing and are often prepared to commit suicide. Who fits this description?  Answer: the person who commits domestic violence.

On 3rd June 2015, Rosie Batty, the 2015 Australian of the Year, made the following statements in her speech to the National Press Club in Canberra. 

“We see whenever there is the slight threat of terrorism it’s amazing how funding can be found to combat that, where seemingly there was no funding before,” she said.

“Let’s start calling family violence, terrorism and then maybe we can start to see funding flowing to this area.”

“We have an obligation right now to put pressure on governments to prioritize this issue and the safety and rights of victims.”

Rosie suggested that if ‘family violence’ was called ‘family terrorism’ then Government funding would immediately be made available to reduce the incidence of women being injured or killed by their spouses or partners. She maintained that there was no leadership from the Government on this issue and urged the politicians to address the safety and rights of victims.

“As  of   this  week, 13 Australian women have reportedly been killed as a result of domestic violence in the first seven weeks of 2015. That’s almost two women per week.” At this rate there will be 104 women killed by a male associate during 2015. This terrible statistic was reported by Lucia Osborne-Crowley (journalist and producer at Women’s Agenda, 19th February 2015).

Compare this to the females killed in road accidents in Victoria during 2013-2014 and 2014-2015; 79 and 64 females respectively.  Thus there are nearly twice as many women killed by males in domestic relationships than those killed on Victorian roads in a twelve month period.  Yet so much money is spent to reduce road and traffic deaths, so many crosses and flowers mark the roadside, so many police patrol the roads, so many speed cameras, so many rules and courts to implement those rules with fines and prison.  At the same time, the number of women dying by the hand of a male is nearly twice as many but where are the police, the rules, the courts, the fines and the imprisonment to punish these men.  All of these assets are employed after the murder when what is needed are pro-active measures to prevent the situations arising.

Are our attitudes to women in western society still those of the 15th century?

The age-old culture of the male-dominating role in the family needs to be changed as we move into a new millennium. It is after all 2015, not 1915 or 1815! Over the past 200 years women have achieved change in many areas, such as the right to vote, the right to work if pregnant, the right to return to her employment after a pregnancy, the right to study engineering and science, the right to use contraceptive medication and the right to serve in combat roles in the Australian Defence Force.

However it would seem that despite the advances which have been made for females in our Western society, women and their children still cannot be confident of their safety in a society where their male partner can inflict physical violence upon them. A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) puts limits on the behaviour of the person who is being violent, but in many cases these orders are ignored.  If the violent person has abided by the terms of the DVO for three months, the courts can still allow children to visit with their father and this often places the children and their mothers’ in very dangerous and compromising situations.

On 12th May 2015, during the Federal Budget Speech, the Treasurer Mr Joe Hockey allocated $1.2 billion for Australia’s fight against terrorists and allocated only $30 million to stopping domestic violence in an awareness campaign.  No new money was allocated or specified for the National Hotline or for women’s shelters in the Budget. What statistics do the politicians need to see before they take some action and allocate money to stop this epidemic now?  There does not need to be a Royal Commission of Inquiry which uses a great deal of money and resources; the problem is very clear and very real to those who are on the receiving end of terror. The word to politicians is HELP!

Governments must empower Law Courts and Police to further protect family members’ against continuing acts of abuse and terror by their partners. People who work in schools, hospitals, churches and other government institutions must be trained to recognise victims of violent abuse. It must be made mandatory to report such a situation to a well-funded and responsible agency for immediate action. Information must be shared between various Federal and State Departments. Desperate women write letters to government departments, requesting the officials not to force child support payments from their estranged partners. Normally a woman would not forgo child payments unless she was living in fear of violent reprisals. These perpetrators of family violence should have red flags against their names on computer lists and be kept under close scrutiny by law enforcers.

How can we help?

The men who perpetrate violence are someone’s sons, brothers, fathers or friends. You know who they are and as a male or female, you must change societies’ attitude to their violent acts. Be prepared to accept that you have a terrorist who may be in your family or is one of your friends. If that person is your son, your brother, your father or your friend, tell them you are not going to accept their behaviour. Seek help.  A number of contacts are provided below.

“When will we say enough is enough?”

The prevention of terror and violence against women will change society for the better and it is up to all of us, men and women, young and old, to learn better ways to communicate with each other and to help those who have been victims of terrorism within their family. In 2015, the new generation of young men and women have the ability to alter misconceptions about each other and strive for love and harmony within the family. 

Help and Resources:

For Immediate Assistance if you are experiencing domestic violence

Call 000 

Victims of family violence can call the 24-hour services:

•  1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) 

•  Family Violence Response on 1800 015 188

Web addresses for assistance on Domestic Violence:

  http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/finding-help

•  http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-abused-and-battered-women.htm

• http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/domestic-and-family-violence

Author of this article:

Helen Dodd – Community Pharmacist (retired)

Helen has degrees in Microbiology, Pharmacy and a PhD in Biotechnology. She has taught in Universities and worked extensively in Community Pharmacy. She has now retired from Community Pharmacy after selling her practice several years ago. She has an active interest in researching information to improve health and well-being of the community. She believes that sound knowledge, a clear explanation and good verbal communication with her clients was the basis for her success as a community pharmacist. 

This article is a preview of the many articles from our upcoming magazine in Issue 3. For more articles like this, please subscribe to the Great Health Guide magazine – (subscription FREE for limited time only)
iTunesor Androidstore