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If your partner smashed a plate on the floor would you think that was Family Violence?  Would your answer change if they did it once or if it started happening on a regular basis?  If your partner told you your family is not allowed to visit your home, would you think that was Family Violence?
Family violence comes in many different shapes and forms.  Many people don’t even realise when it’s happening to them. They end up tolerating it for a long time and in silence.  They convince themselves that it’s just their partner having a ‘bad day’.
Both men and women experience Family Violence although statistics show that women are often the victims of Family Violence more than men.
The most vulnerable are your children.  Even if your partner directs their anger towards you and not your children, your children are witness to it and therefore become victims too.  The Family Court recognises that children are exposed to family violence in circumstances where the child has overheard the threat of death or personal injury to another family member, have seen or heard an assault of a family member, have had to comfort a parent who has been assaulted by another family member or just by being present when the police or ambulance are called to attend to an incident involving the assault of a family member.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Family Violence, there is an abundance of help available:
If you’re in the ACT please contact  the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (‘DVCS’) (Tel 02 6280 0900).  The DVCS team are considerate and confidential in assisting you or a family member break out of the cycle of Family Violence. In cases of emergencies, you should call the Police on 000 or 131 444.
If you’re in Melbourne, please contact the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service Victoria (Tel 03 9322 3555). In cases of emergencies, you should call the Police on 000 or your nearest station.
If you think that you are suffering Family Violence please tell us, don’t be embarrassed.
Lucy Stramandinoli
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