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Cape Byron Medical Centre

Domestic violence in Australia – Expert Opinion

To honour White Ribbon Day, we spoke to Cape Byron Medical’s GP Dr Tonya Coren, who is often on the front line, helping women in abusive relationships.

“Domestic violence is far too common in Australia,” Dr Coren said.
“As a nation we need to unanimously stop the cycle of violence and say no to disrespectful and harmful behaviour and abuse.  The statics are alarming when one woman is dying in Australia almost every week at the hands of a current or former partner (2015 Australian Institute of Criminology Report).

“As a nation we need to recognise that violence against women is a serious issue. Few people realise where the behaviours and attitudes really start – and that is in childhood (Respect campaign 2018).  We need to acknowledge what we are saying, doing and acting and realise it’s not okay.
“One in three women have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15 by someone known to them (2016 Personal Safety Survey, ABS).  That is an alarming statistic and something we as a community need to change.

“Domestic violence is not usually a single incident.  It’s ongoing behaviour that gradually undermines the victim’s confidence and ability to leave the violent person. The severity and frequency of violence usually escalates over time. As a community we need to be aware there are always options and alternatives and there is always someone who can help.

“If you know of someone who is in a domestic violent relationship or are a victim in an abusive relationship then please seek help.  Reach out to your GP who can provide information, support and counselling.  Alternatively you can call 1800RESPECT which is a 24 hour confidential counselling to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.  Call 1800 737 732 to speak to a trained counsellor who can guide you and help you find what is right for you in your situation.  Remember to always call 000 if you are in danger.

“We need to break the cycle of domestic violence and say No. We need to stand up, speak out and act.”

Domestic Violence Statistics

White Ribbon have released the latest facts and figures on men’s violence against women, including domestic violence statistics. These statistics show you the impact of domestic violence on women and children in Australia. These statistics on domestic violence, emotional abuse and murder demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women in Australia.

-On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.

-1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

-Almost 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while temporarily separated.

-Children of mothers experiencing domestic violence have higher rates of social and emotional problems than other children.