It's Not Ok

These women are mothers, sisters, daughters & friends.
You have a purpose here. You belong and you are loved

Violence against women is NOT okay. 

We live in a world where things like this don’t get spoken about and if it does, it’s really only to say “it needs to stop” or “lets end it”. We don’t really understand it, the effects, how it happens or even how to end it. It isn’t just violence in a marriage, but it can also happen throughout the dating period.
Domestic violence isn’t just physical abuse, it’s also mental and emotional abuse. It can include physical violence but can also include verbal and emotional abuse which is just as damaging. This can scar someone for life, both physically and mentally. It can, and does go even further than that, women around the world die every day due to the violence inflicted upon them, some even taking their own life after enduring years of suffering at the hands of their partners. 

 According to the DV Connect facts and statistics on domestic violence;  
80 to 100 women die at the hands of their partner every year.
They aren’t just numbers, they are individuals, with their own stories and their own rights to live peacefully and safely. A right which has been abused.  

In 2015; around 65 women died due to domestic violence and over 35 women were sent to hospital due to violence related injuries. Did we hear about this on the news? No. Did we see anything mention on social media? No. If two people died due to a shark attack, that would be all over the news and social media, and don’t say it wouldn’t because it would.  You see, usually the only way this gets mentioned on social media is if it happened in public which has been the case a few times in 2015. However this number, is most likely much higher due to unreported violence. Think about that. We could actually be seeing over 200 women or more experiencing violence but we don’t know about it because it’s not reported and let’s not get into the amount of men that are on this end of violence along with children being abused. We will save that for another article in the coming months, but for now let’s just look at the women in this issue.

What causes violence? What are forms of violence that I should look for?  
Let’s have a look.

There are many factors to look at when it comes to seeing what has caused something like this to happen in a relationship such as drug and alcohol abuse. This can change the way someone controls themselves and even how they act. Another factor is the pornography industry. Yes we are going there. The porn industry is a huge factor in this issue. Why? When it becomes more of an addition it changes your brain. It changes the way you look at women, how to react to women and even how to have a relationship with them. You may be saying; but it’s harmless to watch it every now and then. NO, it’s not! It can affect your mood, actions, even speech, even at first glance. Young boys are entering adulthood thinking, and excepting all girls to act as pornstars do, this is not healthy for any relationship. It breaks relationships and marriages up. It destroys families and in the end, your life. It literally takes over. Another cause is the way the man was brought up. The way someone is brought up can affect their future families and relationships. If someone is brought up in a violent home and isn’t taught what is right and wrong and that hitting or mistreating a woman is wrong, they will most likely grow up thinking that it is ok to hit someone and abuse them. However the backbone behind all domestic violence is woven deep into our culture, it is the fact that even now, in 2016 there is still an inequality between men and women. It is this which leads to victim blaming “well if she’s wearing that she’s asking for it!” “Well she should have just left him”. No! This needs to stop.
If we are to truly fight domestic violence at its core this issue on inequality has to be dealt with.

So, there isn’t just one form of domestic violence, there is many. Such as:

Verbal abuse: This may include screaming, shouting, put-downs, name-calling, swearing, or ridiculing her for her religious beliefs or ethnic background. Verbal abuse may be a precursor to physical violence.
Physical Abuse: Which can be things like; pushing, shoving, hitting, slapping, attempted strangulation, hair-pulling, punching etc. 
Emotional Abuse: This is behaviour that deliberately undermines her confidence leading her to believe she is stupid or that she is 'a bad mother' or useless or even to believe she is going crazy or is insane. This type of abuse humiliates, degrades and demeans the victim. 
Social abuse: This involves isolating the victim from her social networks and supports either by preventing her from having contact with her family or friends or by verbally or physically abusing her in public or in front of others. 
Sexual abuse: Any unwanted sexual behaviours. This may include forced sexual contact, rape, forcing her to perform sexual acts that cause pain or humiliation, forcing her to have sex with others or causing injury to her sexual organs.
Domestic homicide: The victim and/or her children are killed by the intimate partner as a result of domestic violence.

There are so many forms of domestic violence present in today’s society, all with crippling effects. If you are experiencing any of these, then please, speak out. Speak to a friend, or a family member, someone that can help. There are people who will listen and if you feel that you can’t, then that is even a bigger sign that you need to shed light and seek help. Even plan a safety plan; like know the easiest way to escape through doors or windows. Tell your neighbour that if they hear anything disturbance from your house, to call the police and even come up with a code between you and your neighbour for when they know you're in danger. Plan something, so when it's happening, it can stopped or even prevented.

This society needs to change its approach to violence. It needs to stop and we can be the generation that ends it here in Australia and even the other nations. We have a voice for those who can’t speak out. Let’s be that voice Australia.

Let’s end Domestic violence against women, once and for all.

To those struggling: There is hope and there is someone who will listen to you and even help you. You are not alone in this battle. You may feel like you are, but you're not. There are people who care about you and love you. We will stand and fight for you even if you can't. We will be your voice.

Know This:  You are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are more precious than rubies and loved beyond measure and you have a purpose to be here. Even if you don’t feel like you do, just know that you belong and you are loved.



Let’s end Domestic Violence against women, once and for all.
If you need help here are some numbers.
DV Connect Women's Line - 1800 811 811
National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line - 1800 RESPECT
LifeLine - 13 11 14
Special Thanks to the following Team: 

Talya Welhburg - Model
Joshua Russell - Assistant Model
Teena Bochow - Makeup Artist