Saturday, August 15, 2015

Beating up the missus

One woman is murdered every week in Australia as a result of domestic violence. I understand this year the trend is to two per week. The figure is rising. A hugely disproportionate number of these victims are Aboriginal.

The statistics of women with acquired brain injuries as a result of domestic violence is equally damning.

The figures for the US may be similar but I don't believe they are as bad in the UK. There is something about men in the UK that is different.

Two personal anecdotes, one of which I have recounted before.

At work there was a Mauritian couple. She was a big lass and he a skinny little short runt. I inquired from another male work mate from the same  country why Rhonda had a black eye. Joseph gets drunk and often beats her up, was the reply. Given their size difference, it was hard to imagine. I asked him, why doesn't the Mauritian community intervene and stop it? He gave a kind of a shrug of the shoulders. Rhonda was a medical basket case and recently died. It was really so hard to offer Joseph my sympathies given I knew the history from years ago.

Next door to my grandparents a wealthy Eastern European couple moved in, with two young children. He was a good bit older than her, and she was a very attractive woman. One night there was a terrible row next door, as the young me and my siblings heard. Mother was telling her parents it was violent and they should call the police. No, they replied. It is not our business and we don't want to be on bad terms with neighbours. We are not going to interfere in private family business.

I can remember Viktor's words vividly. 'You are so beautiful but you will not be any longer'. Had Mother's parents called the police, Helena may not have had her face scalded by hot oil. I don't know why, but for some reason the scarring was not too bad on her face, the worst on her neck and quite visible.

So what to do in such situations? The latter, yes call the police. I really don't know. I just remembered their family name. What were the children's names? I can't recall so I can't google them.

What I do know is, don't turn a blind eye to what is happening because you are a coward. Speak up and speak loud about violence within families.

It is to my terrible shame that my country has such a problem.

33 comments:

  1. Andrew you are right the violence in family is a serious problewm nowadays I know it personally as a teacher because I have some students with violence background. And we can't be coward we should react. But as a neighbour is not easy to react..

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    1. Gosia, it is problematic. Here, teachers must report signs of abuse of children. We must do do as our conscious follows if it is neighbours.

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  2. Unfortunately its not just an australian problem

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    1. John, I hoped and thought it was a less of a problem in the UK.

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  3. It is shocking that domestic violence is so prevalent in Australia. Alcohol and/or drugs seem to play a big part.

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    1. You are right Victor, They bring out the base behaviour, but such behaviour should not in minds.

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  4. No arguments from me.
    Domestic violence calls are the ones I find hardest to deal with on the crisis lines.
    And we are MUCH more at risk of family violence than we are of terrorists. But spend much more protecting ourselves from the latter.

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    1. Interesting EC. Nay, disturbing. You then wrote a motherhood statement, but apparently not one for our political leaders.

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  5. Where I am currently living, there are often outbursts and visitors from the neighbours. It scares me to no end. Having accidentally poured hot oil down my legs, I can only imagine the excruciating pain such a burn to her face would have caused and the rehabilitation both physically and emotionally. Call. Always call. People get killed because of domestic violence. Have a great weekend Andrew.

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    1. Carol, yes, call, and call often and as often as you feel like. Processes are in place and while I don't have great faith in our forces, ours in Victoria do know not to ignore such calls

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  6. Fortunately the issue is getting far more public attention nowadays. Hopefully more people will now feel compelled to intervene.

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    1. Ad Rad, and indeed it is receiving more attention, as it should. More generally, people need to intervene and speak out. The last murder of someone who spoke out in public was when?

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  7. Here in the States it's 3 women a day. I'm not proud of that fact. (http://nnedv.org/getinvolved/dvam/1307-dvam-blog-series-1.html)

    Having grown up in an abusive family and experiencing abuse for myself, I am passionate about stepping up and will do it every time. There is a family on this street which is now being monitored by child protective services on a very regular basis, and I'm not ashamed that it is because of the call I made.. it means the children aren't being screamed at and hit.
    I don't call in help if it's simply a matter of a difference in parenting styles, but if I witness a child (or older person) being physically abused I will, do, and have called the police or CPS. When necessary I have even physically intervened. How could I, knowing what it's like, do less?

    Okay, getting off my soapbox now, sorry.

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    1. Jac, I bet if you deducted the black populations, the figure would be much less. All the more reason to speak up, black white or whatever.

      I am reading between the lines about your abuse and given what I have learnt about you in the short time I have known, I think I know.

      You are right to call authorities or police. It is fairly simple. If you feel uncomfortable about something, tell the cops. Aussie cops are now well educated about domestic violence. I hope yours are too.

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    2. Yes Andrew, I think you probably do know. No need, or reason, for me to drop it on your other readers.

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  8. I wonder if the number of violent cases per capita for the US is similar to the Australian situation, but that the consequences might be far worse in a gun-toting country.

    Here husbands can isolate, instil terror and break their wives bones very badly, but you don't often hear of Australian women being shot to death.

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    1. Hels, I believe that is significant part of it, but there are other contributing factors as well. 1. I think, but can't assert as fact, that Australia is a much more open society. 2. Many more services, including mental health services, seem to be available in Australia than here in the U.S., and of course the help available here is inevitably very costly. Any low, or no, cost programmes are so difficult to obtain that they might as well be on the moon for most people. 3. Poverty and the demonisation of the impoverished. Despicable in an 'advanced' nation.

      Ack! I'm just going to go sit on my hands now...

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    2. Good point about guns, Hels.

      Jac, point 1, not sure. 2 I think true and 3, maybe not so much here or maybe true.

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  9. I haven't heard any of that sort of thing in most of my homes, but when I moved here there was a fight or two going on somewhere in the flats, usually in the summer. After a while things quietened down and we all knew someone had called the police.
    My ex the 2nd was a runty little short man, but aggression and fear add a lot of strength, when he was drunk.....well.

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    1. River, I don't know why, but I guessed as much. Not so bad really, being on your own, is it.

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    2. It's peaceful, that's for sure, and no tiptoeing on eggshells anymore.
      He's calmer now, though, his current psychologist has stuck with him for five years now, most of the previous ones gave up within a year.

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  10. There are so many women killed in the US through domestic violence. In Oregon too. Two in Albany at least I recall last year alone. One massive man choked his girlfriend to death in an apartment. He was four times her size. It's a terrible and huge problem. Women look at men they might want to date wondering if it is someone who would kill them one day or not.

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    1. Ok Strayer, this is a world wide matter and needs to be dealt with as it just cannot continue. Why is it not at the fore of world agenda?

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    2. Because it doesn't raise money for politicians and governments.

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  11. The worst is even if you call the police, most of the time the women pretend that they had fallen down the steps or hit their heads or whatever. Only a few of them find the courage and tell the truth !

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    1. Quite true Gattina. But times are changing here in Australia to a point.

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    2. When I showed up with bruises, I told everyone how it happened.
      I had him arrested too and moved out while he was in jail.

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  12. Dreadful all of that scalding, acid, beatings, don't know where it will end and what's wrong with the men to do such horrible things to women....really sad, but most women go back for more! Scared I suppose. The Police can't do anything until something happens, which is also sad...

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    1. Not looking for an excuse for men's behaviour Margaret but how do their minds work? So often women are trapped in such situations and it can take incredible courage to leave with perhaps children and little else.

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  13. I didn't look at Jacqueline's link but the rates of domestic violence in the U.S. is far far greater than 3 a day - maybe 3 a minute would be more like it. Yes, call the police because often the police don't listen to the woman and yes, way too often she denies it. A lot of the burden of resolving DV is on women because even when they do leave an abuser they return to him most of the time. I'm definitely not blaming the victim but am saying they need education and they need counseling to learn they can take care of themselves without a man. I think so much of the problem is due to the worsening subjugation of women by society and women aren't helping the problem any by their continuous striving to be sexual objects. Oh gosh, you know me Andrew :), I could go on forever and ever on this topic but as long as Kim Kardasian (don't know how to spell the name) is a role model I see little help. I'm thinking ridiculous plastic surgeries on a whim, high heels, etc. And yes, treating yourself like an object does have everything to do with domestic violence.

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    1. Rubye, it is always good to call the police. While the woman may not say anything, you can be sure, well I would hope, notes are taken and a report logged. A picture will eventually build. Your words are wise but cannot a woman behave like a sex object without being treated like one? It is to both our credit that neither of us know how to spell Kardashion.

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  14. I knew a woman who was killed by her husband. Tragic.

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  15. Fen, yes I remember. When multiculturalism is talked about, there are some Australian rights and wrongs that are not up for discussion.

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