Journey from happy family to abuse

How can a happy wedding night turn into family abuse within a couple of years? What turns the joy of dating into nightmares of family violence? What is even more alarming is that approximately 87% of family violence in Australia is inflicted on women by men!

It is important that we do not see family violence only as physical abuse. Hitting a woman is obnoxious behaviour that must be stopped. But it is only a narrow way of examining abuse.

Bill would abuse his wife by controlling her money. He was in absolute control of the finances.

John would call Isobel an idiot and a useless woman around the house. He would scream at her, “When we got married, you were trim and good-looking. Now you’re a fat slob.”

Sean would swear at Anne whenever she wouldn’t do what he wanted. If she did not buy the petrol on time for the fishing trip, she got the finger and blankety-blanks.

Lifeline’s Spencer Gear said that “sometimes in counselling men tell me that they get angry and that’s what makes them abuse women. Men do get angry (so do women) but men can choose how they express it. Some men seem to create situations that lead them to become angry. Anger becomes an excuse for men to be abusive and violent.”

Other men blame their use of alcohol and other drugs for their family abuse.

To blame anger or grog for family violence is a myth. Men are responsible with what they do with their anger and how they express or control it.

Drinking or abusing drugs is a choice that men make. They are responsible for that choice, even if they lose control while drunk.

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