It’s okay to seek support

December 07, 2017

Family violence was once a taboo topic that people averted their gaze and attention from.

But these days people, communities and public officials are taking on key roles in raising awareness about family violence.

Forums, marches, meetings and media attention mean that it is often in the public eye and difficult to not think about.

More often than not it is easy to associate family violence with physical assault and this is where many of us make our first mistake.

Family violence is not limited to physical assault.

It also includes verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, as well as stalking, financial, social, sexual, spiritual or cultural abuse.

Family violence happens when someone who has a close relationship to you causes you to feel fearful and powerless.

Although people may not be able to see the visible signs of emotional or financial abuse, it does not mean that these forms can be any less damaging.

In fact, it can be argued that emotional abuse can lead to shame, depression and suicidal thoughts.

It may be difficult to help someone who is living in a situation such as this because they may come to believe that they deserve this sort of treatment or it’s normal behaviour.

But feeling afraid for your life or your children’s lives is not normal and there are services out there that can help you.

People can access support from organisations such as Lifeline, phone 131114; the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre, phone 1800015188; Kids Helpline, phone 1900551800; or Centre Against Sexual Assault, phone 1800806292.

There are many other services available that can offer support and advice.

If you believe you need help, do not hesitate to seek it.

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