A first priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of women and children.
This can involve
* Developing a safety plan to provide a safe living environment
* Counselling and emotional support
* Court support and referral to legal services
* Community education
* Referral to housing services
JewishCare's Domestic Violence program also includes raising awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence in the Jewish community through early intervention and education.
It is important to realise that Domestic Violence constitutes any form of abusive behaviour that seeks to gain and maintain control over another person's life.
These behaviours can include
* Physical abuse including sexual abuse or threats
* Psychological and emotional abuse Verbal abuse which threatens, degrades or insults people or pets
* Intimidation and harassment
* Social isolation including being stopped from seeing friends and family
* Financial abuse and being forced to live without money
Domestic Violence 24 hour hotline -1800 656 463
NSW Rape Crisis Centre 1800 424 017
Violence Against Women Helpline 1800 200 526
Domestic Violence Advocacy Service 8745 6999
Law Access Line 1300 888 529
Who are the main victims of domestic violence?
Women are usually the victims of domestic violence; however men can also be victims. About 1 in 4 women will be subjected to domestic violence in their lifetime. Domestic violence occurs in all socio-economic groups and effects people of all ages, people in same sex relationships and people who have a disability. Domestic violence also affects children, even if they are not physically hurt.
Some people say that women provoke the violence, and deserve what they get…
In fact, nobody deserves violence. There are many ways of dealing with problems and issues that do not involve violence. Victims in other crimes are not blamed, victims should not be blamed in situations of domestic violence.
Is alcohol or stress is to blame?
The belief or attitude that it is okay to use abusive behaviour to control others exists prior to alcohol consumption or the rise of a stressful situation. Alcohol and stress only trigger the abusive behaviour; it is not an excuse for the behaviour. It is up to the person who commits the violence to accept responsibility for their actions.
Why don’t the women leave if they don’t like what is happening?
Very often women experiencing domestic violence are isolated from the support of friends or family and are financially and emotionally dependent on their partner. The women may also have been threatened by her partner. He may have told her that he will harm her, himself, her family, children or pets if she leaves. She may also think that the abuse is her fault and if she changes the abuse will stop.
What is an ADVO? (or an AVO)
An ADVO or AVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order or Apprehended Violence Order) is an order made by the court which instructs the person who has been violent to you what they cannot do. The ADVO aims to protect you (and any children) from the violence you have been experiencing.
An ADVO is not a criminal conviction in itself, however, the person who has been violent towards you may also be charged with a criminal offense. Making an order does not mean that the person will have a criminal record, nor will they go to jail. However, if they break the ADVO, they will have committed a crime and they can get a criminal record or go to jail.
Some people say that domestic violence is a private, family matter…
In fact, domestic violence is a crime. It is not a normal part of a marriage or de-facto relationship.
Does domestic violence occur in the Jewish community?
Yes. For many years JewishCare has been working with people experiencing domestic violence. Research into rates of abuse within the Jewish community suggest that women experience domestic violence at similar rates to other groups. Domestic violence occurs in both religious and non-religious/secular community.
What can I do if someone I know is experiencing domestic violence?
There are many things that you can do to support a person experiencing domestic violence including
- Believe what she tells you
- Let her know it is not her fault
- Focus on her safety and the safety of her children
- Avoid blaming her
- Avoid blaming alcohol, mental health issues or drugs for the behaviour
- Avoid telling her what to do
- Avoid talking to the abuser about his behaviour
- Avoid making negative comments about the partner
- Do not expect the person to leave the relationship
- Give her contact numbers of specialist services
- Encourage her to call the police if there is an emergency
1300 133 660