Domestic Abuse


 Domestic Abuse – If anyone in your family or under your roof hit, kicks, pushes, pinches, forcefully has sex with you against your will (including when you are married) or shoves you, or even holds you down unnecessarily, just to have power over you, it is domestic abuse. There is also something called covert or implicit violence or implicit abuse which means hidden abuse, not out in the open. This is when you feel threatened or intimidated even if they don’t actually hit you anymore, there is still the way of relating where they have more power than you and use it against you to get what they want against your will. This often occurs in families after the abusive person stops the outward behaviour of hitting, kicking push and shoving, pinching etc but all the people in the family do not learnt healthier, new ways of relating, so the same unequal power and intimidation continues.
If your family is violent or abusive or your family you grew up in was violent or abusive, chances are you may have grown up in a family that accepted that people were meant to be so close they would also hurt each other. This is actually not how relationships should work.
No person ever had or has a reason to physically hit, pinch, push or shove another person in Australia. This is law.It is also not ok to intimidate other people or mis-use power over others. If you grew up in a family that did these things then there were ways of relating they didn’t know about. Break the cycle and learn new ways of having relationships which don’t hurt. It’s not a matter of just stop hitting the other person, it’s a whole new way of living that you have probably never experienced. Domestic abuse means you are fused rather than two individuals who live, share and work well together. Being fused means you frequently lose your power and self respect with each other and struggle to get a balance between having independence and having togetherness. It is an unhealthy way of relating and of living for you and all your future generations. Be the one to break the cycle. Stop it by learning what real relationships feel like and look like, especially when there is conflict. They are not the picturesque image portrayed by the Brady Bunch or the 1960’s advertisements. Joan was living with a husband who she had been married to for ten years. During that time she managed to get him to stop hitting her and holding her down against her will but there were still many things wrong with her relationship, which she didn’t understand. When Joan’s twins were teenagers she noticed her daughter was attracted to boys who didn’t treat her well, despite what Joan advised her. Joan started to research the effects of domestic violence and domestic abuse on people. She was horrified to know that even though her husband stopped hitting and pushing her ten years earlier, the next generation, her children, were likely to end up in relationships where they were treated the same violent ways, or with the same lack of emotional closeness. Luckily Joan was brave enough to seek help and came here to Hands Full of Hope.
In counselling Joan realised and worked through her own childhood and her parents relationship, which is what taught her how to relate to men who didn’t treat her well.
It was a slow process for Joan and sometimes painful but her bravery helped her work through learning how to have healthy relationships. Because she learnt this, her husband noticed her changes and came in to counselling. He also worked through his issues and learnt a new way of thinking about and responding to himself and others. From this their children were then brought in to learn new ways before they had children and passed on the old wonky way of trying to become one with another person. Now Joan and Tom have a very intimate relationship. They have leant differentiation which allows them to love each other but not get violent or rage at each other. Differentiation is when they can be themselves around each other and not be trying to please or control others. Now they have skills to deal with things easily before the problems become big. Joans bravery to come to counselling and work on her issues made a big difference to all the lives of her family.
Joans twins had counselling too. Through this Joans son admitted he wanted kill his father for being mean to everyone and had thought about it many times but was waiting until he was bigger. Joan was shocked to find out that one in three boys exposed to domestic violence end up in jail as adults often for violent crimes, especially to their abuser. Joan saved her sons future by allowing him the space to work through this.

If you are in an immediately dangerous situation call 000 emergency services for assistance.
If you are ready to work through stuff and have healthy safe relationships, or need help to work out what you want to do with your situation, then make an appointment at Hands Full of Hope Counselling.