Australia is a wonderful place to live, but there are still issues within our communities that need to be addressed in order to ensure the country is a safe, welcoming place for each and every one of us. These problems don’t just affect individuals, but Australia as a whole, with one example being domestic violence, which leads to all sorts of different challenges that need to be better understood and dealt with.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at domestic violence in Australia, and what can be done to ensure at-risk groups are adequately protected against it.
The toll of domestic violence
One of the most important aspects of domestic violence to understand is that it doesn’t discriminate, and can affect anybody from any background at any time. In fact, data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare¹ reveals that one in five women – or 1.7 million people – have been threatened or sexually assaulted since the age of 15, along with one out of every 20 men. This is in addition to the 1.6 million women who have experienced some form of violence from a partner that they live with. These numbers are unacceptable, and show that while domestic violence can affect any group, women and children are most at risk.
Domestic violence is often referred to as a ‘silent problem’ because it’s not always visible to those of us who are not affected by it. For example, not everybody recognises that violence from a partner is a leading cause of homelessness amongst women with children, with over 70,000 female Australians seeking homelessness support services in 2016-17 as a result of domestic violence. In addition, behaviours that indicate domestic abuse (such as withholding finances or creating isolation from family and friends) aren’t always visible from the outside looking in, making it difficult for silent victims to get the support they need.
So, what can be done? There are a number of steps that can be taken at both community and government levels to reduce domestic violence and its effects on society, but the front lines are where support is most needed, and can make the biggest difference.
Beyond Bank in your community
As a customer-owned organisation, we aim to go beyond providing financial products and services to truly make a difference for Australians. The word ‘community’ may get thrown around an awful lot by businesses, but we’ve taken things a step further via a dedicated development team that assists not-for-profits, as well as a range of different contributions to help vulnerable Australians among us.
When it comes to reducing the impacts that domestic violence has on Australian families, we’re proud to support organisations like Domestic Violence Crisis Service, which provides 24 hour support 7 days a week to people seeking support and initiatives like Assistance Beyond Crisis (ABC). Based in the ACT, ABC is a sustainable micro-finance facility that provides financial assistance to anyone that has experienced domestic violence. One of the key reasons why abuse often continues is an inability for the victim to support themselves without their partner. ABC aims to close the gap for the “missing middle”, those between crisis and having re-established their lives and who are not eligible for low income safety nets but who find themselves unable to afford essential items.
Eliminating domestic violence from our society is an enormous challenge, and one that won’t happen overnight. However, a little can go a long way, and by banking with us you can rest easy knowing that a percentage of your spend is being reinvested in order to help those in need.
For more information, contact Beyond Bank today .
¹Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018