Domestic Violence201041881153

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Domestic Violence201041881153 Powered By Docstoc
					                     Prepared by the Social Justice Committee
                        of the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat

 Domestic Violence Occurs in this Town Too!
Domestic violence occurs at all social levels,        overcome their insecurity by controlling
in many cultures and across a wide range of           someone - usually their partner - with
ages. However, victims of domestic violence           physical violence and sustained psychological
are usually women with low self-esteem who            abuse.
are dependent on their partners Some groups
of women - aboriginals, those in rural and
isolated areas, those from non-English-               The Victims
speaking backgrounds and 'Asian-brides' -             Given the high incidence of domestic violence
are seen to be in special danger.                     it is important that Christians are alert to
Victims report multiple types of violence             signs of violence, that they are ready to
including:- beatings, sexual assault, and             believe people who say they are victims, and
verbal and psychological abuse.                       that they help them, as fellow human beings,
                                                      to see what is happening to them and what
Psychological violence suffered by thousands
                                                      they can do if they leave.
of women can begin with occasional
comments designed to make the women
doubt themselves and their abilities. Abuse
                                                      Viable church responses
then increases until the victims never feel
adequate about their intelligence, appearance         Victims of domestic violence require a range
and roles as mothers and wives.                       of services which may include medical
                                                      attention or health care, physical protection,
Nevertheless, many women remain in violent            separate accommodation, financial support,
relationships trying to resolve their problems        child care, and legal advice.
by themselves on the grounds of love and
hope for change.                                      Women unable to cope with family violence
                                                      can make appointments to meet with a
                                                      chamber magistrate to obtain an
Complex causes                                        Apprehended Violence Order to restrain or
The causes of domestic violence are complex.          evict their violent partner. In cases where
They may be related to illness, psychological         they fear living at home where the
disposition, predisposition due to childhood          perpetrator can find them, victims may be
experiences, pressures of environment and             provided with refuge.
circumstance, or presumption of male                  Temporary shelter, respite care and refuges
superiority.                                          are the most useful assistance to victims of
In a culture where men have been                      domestic violence. Secure refuges are often
encouraged to accept aggression and violence          full, however, and many women are forced to
as part of the process of being 'masculine',          return to violent partners because they
men with a shaky gender identity often                cannot find affordable accommodation in the

                           Anglican Diocese of Ballarat Social Justice Committee
                         Domestic Violence Occurs in this Town Too!: Page 1
private rental market or public housing. The             wives as their own bodies’ - to feed them and
provision of shelter, therefore, becomes a               care for them just as Christ loved the Church.
viable area of church involvement.
                                                         Marriage is not meant to trap people in
Local churches also can help organise                    intolerable relationships of a ‘love’ that is
support groups. The major task of such                   little more than self- centred demand. Love,
groups is to provide support without taking              in the Bible, is not based on selfishness. It is
sides - to look for possibilities to alleviate the       seen in terms of service towards another.
situation and to find positive ways to release           Christ loved the Church 'and gave himself up
any anger. And they can help by providing                for her.' Violence and anger are opposites of
access to counselling which will examine                 love. They stem from sin, from a mistrust of
underlying attitudes and the basis of anger.             God and a fear of the vulnerability that
                                                         service implies.
                                                         Church members, while ensuring the safety
Service not selfishness
                                                         of the victims of violence, also face the
The Bible reference often used to justify                challenge of educating society. As well as
men’s control over women is Ephesians 5:22,              educating the community that violence
'Wives, submit to your husbands...' This                 against women is both criminal and
passage, however, continues to say that,                 unacceptable we should work to deny male
while wives must honour and respect their                acts of violence a place in any definition of
husbands, ‘husbands ought to love their                  'manliness'.

                              Anglican Diocese of Ballarat Social Justice Committee
                            Domestic Violence Occurs in this Town Too!: Page 2

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Description: Domestic Violence201041881153