Domestic violence advocates championing change to end violence against women

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The killing of a woman by her current or former partner every 10 days is just one of many alarming cases. domestic violence tormenting statistics Australia.

Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to raise awareness about domestic violence, a scourge that has devastating effects on those involved, ranging from physical injuries and psychological trauma homelessness or drug addiction.

And when children learn to “hurt people, hurt people,” that trauma can become a dark cycle that continues to have enormous personal, social, and economic repercussions.

“It’s passed on. It’s intergenerational because people don’t identify that trauma is changing and forming and moving and it presents differently in people,” Sydneysider Aiman ​​Naba told .to.

“Our parents are our protectors, they are our guardians, they teach us.

“But sadly, many parents in many cultures experience their own trauma – it passes on to their children, but it may not be the same.”

Naba said domestic and family violence was prevalent and “normalized” as she grew up, although it was well known that something was wrong.

Parents in abusive situations may be unable to think long-term, focusing instead on meeting basic needs, which can have a big impact on children, she said.

Aiman ​​Naba Domestic Violence Marrickville Legal Center
Aiman ​​Naba works to reduce the impact of generational trauma on those involved in domestic violence situations. (Provided)

“It’s very difficult, often the emotional well-being is overlooked and the well-being of the children is overlooked,” Naba said.

“We often don’t really think about the way trauma is carried and people live with it on a daily basis, people aren’t able to deal with it.”

Now, she works in the Domestic Violence Service at Marrickville Legal Center to empower women and promote self-determination.

“I wasn’t inspired to go out there and tell people what to do but to spread information,” she said.

“To say ‘hey look guys, that’s not right, I know you can’t understand the real damage these behaviors cause but they hurt, especially children and women’.”

Long-term housing for victims of domestic violence in need

For women fleeing situations of domestic violence, it’s not just about finding support from services like the Marrickville Legal Center, but also about finding long-term housing.

Homeless Australia says only 3.1% of people fleeing domestic violence in 2019-20 found permanent accommodation.

“Safe housing is absolutely essential to the safety of those fleeing domestic violence,” said Homelessness Australia chief executive Kate Colvin.

“Without housing, women and children must choose between homelessness and violence. It’s not a choice anyone should have to make.

“We urgently need to increase the number of properties available to women to ensure safety.”

2019-2020 (No.) 2020-2021 (number) 2019-2020 (%) 2020-2021 (%)
People who are victims of family violence 119 182 116 180
Need for long term housing 39,408 39,680
Nothing planned 30,486 30,607 77.4 77.1
Sponsored only 7689 7931 19.5 twenty
provided 1233 1142 3.1 2.9

Breaking the cycle down to individuals

But Naba said it was not just up to domestic violence services to break the cycle of generational trauma and reduce the prevalence of violence, it was up to individuals.

“While there is a need for services like ours, there is also an imperative for community intervention,” she said.

Naba said the generational trauma will be moved when the community is “strong enough” to discuss uncomfortable behaviors.

“When you’re isolated, it’s incredibly powerful to have someone reach out to you for a cup of coffee, a conversation that validates your experience and provides you with information that could help you,” Naba said.

She said to create as many safe places as possible in the community for victims to come forward, to incorporate wellness efforts like friend checking into every interaction and to raise awareness of “what trauma looks like.” .

“We need to send a message that women feel safe. The more people who get involved, the better chance we have of addressing domestic violence as a societal issue,” she said .

Help is available from the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.

Domestic violence advocates championing change to end violence against women

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