If you’re experiencing domestic violence, use this information to make a plan that works for you.
Love Hurts – Recognising domestic violence
Raising awareness and increasing understanding of domestic violence in the wider community is an important part of Emerge’s work.
In July we joined other speakers at a special educational forum organised by Kingston City Council entitled ‘Love Hurts’.
The event brought together representatives from the Victoria Police Family Violence Unit, St Kilda Legal Service, service providers, members of the community and a domestic violence media advocate.
“Everyone has a right to be safe in their own home,” said one of the speakers, Sgt Craig Miller, from the Victoria Police Southern Metropolitan Region. Miller explained that every police station has a Family Violence Liaison Officer and how the police help to enforce Intervention Orders.
Family Lawyer Sharon Carr of St Kilda Legal Service stressed the importance of clients seeking legal advice and informing themselves about the law. Echoing Emerge and Victoria Police, she was keen to debunk some of the common myths and misunderstandings surrounding domestic violence.
Sahar Ghaly, a domestic violence survivor and media advocate, first came to Australia from Egypt aged four, and had an arranged marriage with a man ten years her senior. She documented her experience of domestic violence and the cultural beliefs and taboos that kept her in an abusive relationship for 13 years.
That’s why educational and awareness-raising forums are so important– the more we can increase understanding, the more we can all do to help prevent domestic violence. The event concluded with the screening of a short film, Love Controls. Funded by the Victorian Women’s Trust, the aim of the film is to increase young women’s awareness of the early warning signs of abusive and controlling relationships. Emerge assists women like Sahar to break the cycle of violence and to build a new life.