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Seasons of Change

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BC: The United States Department of Justice. (2012, August). Domestic violence. Retrieved from The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women web site: Waters, L. (2012). Domestic violence victims urged to seek help [Television series episode]. In SBS World News. Melbourne, Australia: Special Broadcasting Service. . Retrieved from: Domestic-violence-victims-urged-to-seek-help Wicks-Nelson, R., & Israel, A. C. (2009). Abnormal child and adolescent psychology (7th ed.) (pp. 199). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

FC: of change | EDO2104 – Families and society Assignment 2 Student name: Caroline Auld Student number:0039912831 Word count: 2, 699 Date submitted: 12th October 2012 Course examiner: Nicole Green

1: Dedicated to Margie Fernandez (RIP) and other brave and courageous women who have made it out.

2: Introduction Domestic violence can happen to anyone! While domestic violence takes many forms, sadly it involves violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour at the hands of a partner; carer or family member who intends to control, dominate or instil fear in their victim/s. | While the inequality of women largely contributes to domestic violence, this behaviour can affect anyone and is not limited to gender, sexual identity, race, age, culture, ethnicity, religion, disability, economic status or location. | Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse. It can also take the form of emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse. Domestic violence is a violation of fundamental human rights and is unacceptable.

4: Domestic violence is a topic that is worthy of careful examination and understanding, especially regarding my past and future work with families who have been exposed to domestic violence. I have seen both professionally and personally the damage caused by such a heinous act and I am deeply passionate about helping those who have been affected by domestic violence. | Domestic violence destroys lives both physically and emotionally. It harms not only the victim, but the families who witness or know they have a loved one experiencing domestic violence. Children born and raised in these environments grow up with the belief that domestic violence is acceptable behaviour within a relationship and the pattern continues. Children exposed to violence are at greater risk for developing problems such as aggression, anti-social behaviours, anxiety and depression. (Gordis, Margolin, & John, 2001, Schwab-Stone et al., 1999, as cited in Wicks-Nelson & Israel 2009).

5: The more you laugh the longer you live

6: Spring is Here | A generalised assumption regarding domestic violence is the violence occurs usually at the hands of an aggressive male towards his partner and involves a great deal of physical harm. Domestic violence takes many forms and is not always committed by males. | A common pre-understanding regarding domestic violence is that for domestic violence to have occurred, the victim has been physically harmed. This is not always the case. | My bias towards domestic violence is that no matter who is the perpetrator, domestic violence is wrong!

8: Spring is Here | Types of Abuse Domestic violence can include and is not limited to the following types of abuse (Domestic Violence Resource Centre Inc., 2007; The United States Department of Justice, 2012). | Verbal abuse which may be defined as swearing and inflicting humiliation by way of verbally attacking one’s intelligence, body image and sexuality. Psychological abuse may be caused by fear through intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, friends or pets; destruction of property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, school and/or work. Emotional abuse which may be defined by the abuser blaming the victim for issues within the relationship. Abusers may use emotional blackmail and threaten to commit suicide. The abuser may also compare their victim to others in a way to undermine self-esteem and self-worth.

9: Social abuse may take the form of the abuser enforcing restrictions to their victim using the telephone, car or other joint property. They may also prevent their victim/s from leaving the home and having interaction with other people. Economic abuse may include the abuser not allowing their victim/s to have access to bank accounts for fear they may hide money to leave the situation. Therefore only allowing their victim/s a small amount of money each week. There have been cases where the abuser has coerced their victim to sign documents or make false declarations which may be held as a form of blackmail to stop their victim from leaving. Physical abuse does include direct assault to their victim causing injury. Victims have reported choking, having been shaken, slapped, pushed, punched and kicked and spat on. Abusers not only use their fists to harm, but have also used weapons and objects to hurt their victims. Sexual abuse is defined as a sexual activity which occurred without consent. Abusers may make their victim perform acts they do not consent to.

10: Media articles Title: 4 Corners - Growing up Poor Producer: ABC By: By Sarah Ferguson, Mary Fallon and Greg Wilesmith Aired: 24 September 2012 at 8.30 pm on ABC 1 URL: | While this documentary focused on a group of Australian’s living in poverty, it addressed the underlying causes and issues relating to domestic violence. Typically families who live in poverty may be more likely to experience domestic violence. This could be due to increased stress and conflicts about finances. A general assumption may be that poverty impedes a man's ability to be the head of the house by being the bread winner, therefore not being respected. This documentary suggested that when he is unable to support his family, he becomes depressed and frustrated. He may turn to alcohol or drugs which further add to tension in the home.

11: According to the documentary, social learning theory (Bandura, 1977) suggests that people learn from observing and modelling after others' behaviour. Children, who witness ongoing violent behaviour, are more likely to imitate it. Often, violence is transmitted from generation to generation in a cyclical manner. This was evident with the interview with a father who viewed domestic violence as a ‘virus’ having been ‘through’ his father, then ‘through’ himself and he hopes he hasn’t ‘passed’ it on to his own son. | It is interesting to note the conversation he had with his daughter where he asked her to leave a relationship if her partner ever became violent towards her. Due to the poverty surrounding the people in this documentary, the young girls were most at risk to have babies in their early teens and continue the cycle of poverty and are most likely to have relationships with violent partners.

12: Video: SBS – World News Producer: SBS URL: Aired: 9 Oct 2012, 6:21 pm - Source: Luke Waters, SBS | The news article focused on victims of domestic violence, especially those in Australia’s multicultural communities and the victims are being urged to seek help. Despite many agencies which offer services for culturally-specific counselling, many victims still suffer in silence. | A mother-of-two spoke of her plans for a brighter future, yet is still haunted by years of physical and psychological domestic abuse. For this victim, she admits she had started to contemplate suicide. "I wanted it all to end. It was to the point I couldn't take it any more I had started thinking about suicide". | The woman considered herself lucky considering some victims are murdered by their partners. Discussion took place regarding a recent murder suicide at the hands of the husband despite the presence of an intervention order against him.

13: Psychiatrist Dr Mandula O'Connor says research shows that cultures where there are male patriarchal attitudes tend to be more permissive of domestic violence. She says, “Often women refuse to report domestic abuse fearing the ‘shame’ it could bring to their family.” While there are several services providing women with cultural-specific assistance and advice, the programs for men are in English; and non-English speaking men miss out.

14: News Article: 'Home is Where the Hurt is' Producer: Trent Dalton. Courier Mail assistant editor. URL: Date published: 12 September 2011. | This newspaper article is by far the most graphic in comparison to the two stories aired on television. It depicts in great detail the injuries sustained by victims and transcripts of the interviews with the abusers, one who had recently been released from a Queensland prison. Of the 47 men in his prison yard, 22 were inside for breaches of Domestic Violence Orders, (DVO’s). | Of the victims, one woman who is in a wheelchair after she threw herself off a bridge, seeing no other escape from an intensely violent relationship.

15: Another who lives in a house with four children with blankets covering her windows. Her husband was issued with a DVO after repeatedly kicking her between the legs to abort the baby she carried. The list goes on. | The devastation doesn’t end there for these victims. Often Police do the best they can do for the present situation and that is to remove the women and children to a women’s shelter at an anonymous address. | “Most women have come with nothing. No identification. One set of clothes. No shoes. When your husband is bashing you in the kitchen, there's no time to find your purse. In the refuge, some women will spend hours on the computer, navigating government websites, hacking through the complexities of state and federal family law”.

16: The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act | The Act was amended in March 2003 to protect people in a broader range of intimate relationships from violence. The Act defines domestic relationships as spousal relationships, intimate personal relationships, family relationships and informal care relationships. | The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act (1989) was reprinted on 2nd April 2012. The reprint shows all amendments that have now commenced. The Act aims to provide safety and protection for people in domestic relationships who are victims of domestic and family violence.

17: Possibly these new improvements may provide support to victims of domestic violence and offer them hope and strength to move on to a healthier relationship either alone or with their partner. | The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Bill 2011 was passed in Parliament on 16 February 2012. The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act became effective in September this year. Essentially, the Police have further powers to intervene and help victims of domestic violence and further assist with their protection after the event.

18: Government funding is provided for agencies to implement new programs which assist victims to recover from the effects of domestic violence. These programs are developed to respond to those with the highest needs and service providers understand how those affected by domestic violence will most likely utilise the services for supportive interventions. | Statistics gathered for data concerning domestic violence are required to ensure the government is aware of the seriousness of domestic violence, and the need for appropriate funding levels for the services that assist victims of domestic violence. It is essential that provisions are made for victims of domestic violence and guidelines are set out for service providers to respond in a sympathetic and informed manner. | Statistics and Funding

20: In re-examining my biases towards domestic violence I still believe that no matter who is the perpetrator is, domestic violence is wrong! | Re-examining my assumptions regarding domestic violence has made me realise that it is not limited to physical harm. The psychological scars last a lifetime. | I now understand that domestic violence includes both men and women as victims.It can also include relationships such as other family members and same sex relationships.

21: In reflecting on my role in relating with families within this professional environment, I have become aware that domestic violence is not limited to male abusers. Both men and women have been charged with domestic violence against their partners in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. According to the Australian Statistics on Domestic Violence (Mulroney, 2003), the majority of abusers are men. However, since the early-to-mid 1990s the number of women charged with domestic violence has increased.

22: I recognise the educational requirement for workers in this area are the relevant tertiary qualifications such as a Bachelor of Human Services. | Reflection of working in this role. | The necessary skills that would be helpful are empathy, resourcefulness, objectivity and non-biased.

23: I identify there are processes that need to be followed working within this field. Domestic violence is a very complex issue that involves multiple parties such as the Police, legal representation, counselling services and welfare agencies which address issues such as housing, financial and day to day living. | I am aware of ethical responsibilities a worker must possess within this field. A worker must obey a code of conduct and confidentially, as well as the limits of confidentiality.

24: These Are The Moments I Live For | A consequence of what I have learned from my own experience of domestic violence is that victims need help. Typically, intervention from family and friends is required, and the problem becomes apparent with the involvement of the Police. | Victims require support in decision making when deciding to leave or stay. Apprehended Violence Orders are usually placed by the Police, but in most cases are difficult to enforce. The use of counselling is highly recommended to the victim to ensure the necessary steps in the healing process both physically and emotionally are taken. | Strengths and Opportunities

25: To gain insight in to the victims’ story, it is most helpful to have an understanding of the range of emotions experienced by the victim | Working in the area of domestic violence may be challenging at times, but also rewarding, by being able to help and support victims. | Victims may hold the belief that the abuse only occurs when the abuser is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

26: Previously domestic violence has been seen as a private matter within the family, not requiring the involvement of the police, social services, friends or extended family. These roles have now evolved and domestic violence has been brought right in to public view. | Working within the field of domestic violence, it is important to understand there are personal barriers which must be respected. Even with intervention, there are occasions where the victim does not wish to leave the home. This may be due to the victim having small children or concerns for family pets. There may be fear about how they will survive financially, or simply have resigned themselves to the fact that this behaviour has been ongoing for so long, why leave now?

27: Culturally some women believe their partners are the head of the family and it's acceptable for the male to abuse and become violent against their partners (and children). Victims may have close family members who are aware of the abuse and the victim may not want to leave the support of their family or community | These barriers are largely born from fear of believing they have nowhere else to go. Regardless of the victim’s decision to leave or stay, they require support and their decisions must be respected. For victims that choose to leave, they need protection and should have a good safety plan in place in case their abuser approaches them.

28: Queensland Police Service Contact number: URGENT 000 Non Urgent 131 444 Address: Hume Street Toowoomba QLD 4350 URL | Offering assistance to those in need. | Resources

29: DV Connect Contact number: Women: 1800 811 811. 24hrs 7 days Men: 1800 600 636. 9am-midnight, 7 days URL | Offering state-wide domestic and family violence telephone services for crisis intervention, support, information, advocacy, telephone counselling, referrals and most importantly coordination of emergency refuge and shelter placements across Queensland.

30: Relationships Australia Contact number: 1300 364 277 URL: | Relationships Australia offer a range of support courses for individuals, couples and families in the areas of: life skills and well-being, relationship skills, parenting, family violence and prevention, separation and gambling help.

32: Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall. Dalton, T. (2011, September 12). Home is Where the Hurt is. Courier Mail. Retrieved from: Domestic and family violence protection act. (1989). Retrieved from Australasian Legal Information Institute web site: consol_act/dafvpa1989379/ Domestic and family violence protection act. (2012). Retrieved from Legislation QLD government web site: ACTS/2012/12AC005.pdf | References

33: Domestic Violence Resource Centre Inc. (2007). What is domestic violence. Retrieved from Domestic Violence Resource Centre web site: &view=41212 Ferguson, S., Fallon, M. & Wilesmith, G., (2012). Growing up Poor [Television series episode]. In 4 Corners. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved from: 2012/09/20/3594298.htm Keys Young. (1998). Against the odds: How women survive domestic violence. Milsons Point, NSW: Keys Young. Mulroney, J. (2003). Australian statistics on domestic violence. Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse.

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  • Title: Seasons of Change
  • Domestic Violence
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  • Published: over 5 years ago