Domestic Violence

What an incredibly contentious issue at the moment. One of my very good friends shared a response to a column written by Miranda Devine in one of our tabloids. 

Everyone has an opinion. Myself included. But all of our opinions are based on our contexts. There can be no right or wrong, just different shades of a complex and huge issue. 

I witnessed extreme domestic violence growing up between my parents. Contrary to popular perspective, we were far from poor and my parents are both highly intelligent people. It has only been as an adult that I have been able to understand why my childhood was what it was, and only through understanding the context of both of my parents. 

Their contexts are their stories so I won’t divulge their confidences here. Suffice it to say that the domestic violence in my home occurred because my parents had failed to communicate and were both unhappy, feeling trapped by the responsibilities of adulthood. 

Beyond poverty and poor education, I think the greatest cause of domestic violence is unhappiness which leads to disconnection. This results, in some cases,  in excessive alcohol and drug consumption leading to violence. In other cases people just feel trapped and angry, and rather than seek help they become violent. For other people, they saw violence modelled and don’t know another way. And then there are those that feel powerless in their own life so exact power over others. Ultimately though, the causes go well beyond poverty and/or poor education. 

Are some areas and socio-economic groups more prone? I’m not sure. 

Definitely more prone to reporting it, to calling police, to being vocal. I think in more affluent areas domestic violence is easier to hide and more important to hide. 

But that’s just my opinion. 

I was engaged in an unhealthy relationship when I was younger. Understanding the context of both of us, I now understand why it happened. 

I have since broken that cycle. 

But I had to break the cycle. 

As a child I did not have healthy and respectful relationships modelled for me. I only knew dysfunction, violence and abuse. That has been my cross to bear as an adult. 

I think the money that the government wants to spend should be spent on support services for victims, both male and female, and even more importantly, the children. I think to break the cycle we need to teach the children. We need to ensure that all kids are armed with knowledge to know that there are better and healthier ways of connecting. That there are support services in mental health plentiful enough for everyone. That everyone feels connected and valued. That everyone fulfills a purpose. 

But how do we achieve that in a country where elected leaders engage in a type of dysfunction at the highest level of government; letting their own egos and lust for power control their actions? 

Yep, no healthy modelling there. 

Food for thought. 

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