NSW Bureau of Crime release statistics on Domestic Violence in NSW Dec 2018

December 19, 2018

Late last week I attended a lecture at UTS revealing the NSW Bureau of Crime statistics and research into Domestic Violence.  We are committed to being at the forefront of developments in this area and advocating for change and understanding wherever possible.  It was great to hear that the NSW Government is committed to reducing Domestic Violence and addressing this chronic issue.

 

A key driver of these studies is to find a baseline to measure future developments in this area.  The rest of the information to be taken away from the research was not so positive.

The study measured the effectiveness of six programs that have been implemented to try and address both re-victimization and re-offending and the bottom line is that these programs have been evaluated as ineffective with the exception of one program, a compulsory program lasting 9 – 12 months with weekly cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).  Most notably this program was offered to perpetrators that were in gaol and it was compulsory.

 

The similar program for non-incarcerated offenders, offering 20 x 2 hour CBT sessions only had a 50% completion rate and was found to be ineffective.

 

Another of the studies looked at ways of determining who would be likely to re-victimized.  This I found most disturbing but in light of the many women I’ve worked with and supported both legally and through more general advocacy I should not have been surprised.  The measures taken were ineffective in assessing the likelihood or risk of someone being re-victimized and 70% of women who were re-victimized were not identified by the risk assessment tool.

 

It is no wonder that so many women feel both desperate and hopeless in the face of DV.

 

These studies, it should be noted, were only funded to look at those cases of DV which included grievous bodily harm and as most people would be aware Domestic Violence is far more insidious than that and a fuller description can be found on DVNSW website.  If you are unsure read through this list of actions that constitute domestic violence:

 

VERBAL

  • Swearing and continual humiliation, either in private or in public

  • Attacks following clear themes that focus on intelligence, sexuality, body image and capacity as a parent or partner.

  • Putting someone down

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL

  • Driving dangerously

  • Destruction of your property

  • Abuse of pets in front of family members

  • Making threats regarding custody of any children

  • Asserting that the police and justice system will not assist, support or believe the victim

 

EMOTIONAL

  • Blaming the victim for all problems in the relationship

  • Constantly comparing the victim with others to undermine self-esteem and self-worth

  • Sporadic sulking

  • Withdrawing all interest and engagement (for example weeks of silence)

  • Emotional blackmail and suicidal threats

  • Threats to harm oneself, pets, children or other family members

 

SOCIAL

  • Systematic isolation from family and friends through techniques such as ongoing rudeness to alienate the

  • Instigating and controlling the move to a location where the victim has no established social circle or employment opportunities

  • Restricting use of the car or telephone or internet

  • Forbidding or physically preventing the victim from going out and meeting people

 

FINANCIAL

  • Complete control of all money

  • Restricting access to bank accounts

  • Providing only an inadequate 'allowance'

  • Not allowing someone to seek or have a job

  • Coercement to sign documents, take out loans or make false declarations

  • Using all wages earned by the victim for household expenses

  • Controlling the victim's pension

  • Denying that the victim has an entitlement to joint property

 

PHYSICAL

  • Direct assault on the body (strangulation or choking, shaking, eye injuries, biting, slapping, pushing, spitting, punching, or kicking)

  • Use of weapons including objects

  • Assault of children

  • Locking the victim in or out of the house

  • Forcing the victim to take drugs, withholding medication, food or medical care

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Controlling access to medications

 

SEXUAL

  • Any form of pressured/unwanted sex or sexual degradation by an intimate partner or ex-partner, such as sexual activity without consent

  • Forcing someone to watch explicit material against their will

  • Causing pain during sex

  • Assaulting genitals

  • Coercive sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection

  • Making someone perform sexual acts unwillingly

  • Taking photos or distributing them without the subject’s consent

  • Criticising or using sexually degrading insults

 

HARASSMENT AND STALKING

  • Following and watching

  • Monitoring someone’s movements

  • Sending harassing text messages or getting someone else to do it

  • Telephone and online harassment

  • Tracking with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or through social media or online interactions

  • Being intimidating

 

This and more information can be found at www.dvnsw.org

 

Emergency help is available by calling 000.

1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

 

If you are experiencing Intimate Partner Violence it’s important to make a safety plan.  If you suspect someone is experience domestic violence or if you observe it, it is not a private matter.  It is a serious and debilitating form of violence that affects our children and our society.  Please take action, ask for help and report it.

 

For family law enquiries send your details to voice@voicelawyers.com

 

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