If you’re experiencing domestic violence, use this information to make a plan that works for you.
The impact of domestic violence
By taking action, we can minimise the devastating impact of domestic violence, not just on those involved, but on the whole community.
Is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to 44.
Is responsible for more disease burden than high blood pressure, smoking and obesity.
Is responsible for one in three women experiencing physical violence and one in five women over fifteen experiencing sexual violence.
Makes up 40% of all Victorian murders.
Is a significant factor in homelessness.
Is a factor in 52% of substantiated child protection cases.
Particularly affects pregnant women, with 36 % of women experiencing domestic violence while pregnant and 17% of those women being pregnant when the violence started.
Affects all communities, with the cycle of violence often continuing from one generation to the next.
Costs the Victorian economy around $2 billion annually.
The effect on children
More than a third of violence in the home is witnessed by children.
Children who witness, or are aware of, regular acts of violence exhibit greater physical, behavioural, emotional and psychological problems than other children, including:
Fear, anger, grief, shame, depression, despair and distrust.
Low self-esteem and a poor sense of self, clinginess and insecurity.
Headaches, bed wetting, asthma, stomach pains, eating and sleep disorders.
Blaming themselves for the violence.
Anxiety and fearfulness.
Aggressive or destructive behaviours including disobedience in school.
Learning difficulties at school.
Difficulty in trusting adults, relating to peers and making friends.
An increased risk of substance abuse.
A greater likelihood of mental illness or suicide later in life.
Ultimately, children often imitate their parental role models and carry destructive behaviours into their adult relationships. They may also learn that violence is a legitimate means for obtaining control of a situation or for resolving conflict, causing problems for generations to come.