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    White Ribbon Day: a look into domestic violence

    Oct 29, 2019 2:18:30 PM

    The 22nd of November 2019 is Australia’s White Ribbon Day. A day where Australia acknowledges the domestic violence and abuse that is perpetrated throughout our community and commits to change our community’s domestic violence prevalence.

    Domestic violence is a significant issue in Australia with 1 in 6 women experiencing domestic violence since the age of 15. With such high statistics, it is very likely that someone in your life has been or is currently in an abusive relationship.

    Here are 5 things to consider about leaving an abusive relationship:

    1. It is never the fault of the victim

    Many people who have been in a domestic violence relationship, believe they are the cause of the domestic violence perpetrated against them. This is of course nonsense but is a hallmark of abuse.

    1. There is financial help available

    When considering separation, whilst in the relationship and after leaving the relationship, there are a number of different ways to obtain financial and other assistance as follows:

    1. Centrelink offers a number of different payments for parents leaving a relationship such as Single Parent Pension, Family Tax Benefits A and B and other smaller benefits.
    2. The Department of Communities and Justice has financial assistance and compensation available to victims of domestic violence.

    Those in abusive relationships may not know that when they separate, they may be entitled to part of their partner’s property or financial assistance from their partner on separation. This should be discussed with a lawyer.

    1. There is counselling available

    The Department of Communities and Justice has victims counselling, available to victims of domestic violence. There are also different counselling and support lines such as 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) and Lifeline (13 11 14).

    1. There are referral services available

    There are referral services such as the Lisa Harnum Foundation (1300 732 848), Christ Mission Possible (1300 435 728), and The Sanctuary. These services can assist in finding crisis or long-term accommodation as well as counselling, filling out Centrelink forms and other assistance.

    There are also apps called Penda and Daisy, that contain information and referral services. These apps should only be downloaded if you are certain your phone is secure and safe.

    1. The banks can assist

    You should consider whether to place a freeze or request that an account be changed to joint signatories so that the abusive partner cannot withdraw savings from the family bank accounts. Some banks also offer financial assistance to those in need.

    If you or someone you know is going through an abusive relationship it is important to know that there is help out there so that separation is financially and practically possible. Frank Law offers a free first conference and is more than happy to assist those going through domestic violence to obtain an understanding of their rights and empower them in taking their next steps.

    If you have further questions, please contact Andrea Harrold at aharrold@franklaw.com.au. 

    This is not legal advice. 

    Image from Navy Daily

    Andrea Harrold

    Written by Andrea Harrold