Australia is faced with a domestic violence crisis: Here’s what you can do to make a difference

Jan 08, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

Content Warning: this article deals with domestic and family violence and may be triggering for some readers.

Australia is in the midst of a domestic and family violence crisis. If you need convincing, just take a minute to look at these statistics.

● One woman loses her life every 10 days to a current or former partner.
● On average, 13 women per day are hospitalised due to assault injuries resulting from domestic and family violence.
● 2.2 million Australians have endured physical or sexual violence from a current or past partner – that’s one in 6 women and one in 16 men.
● Australian police respond to a domestic violence incident every two minutes, yet 4 in 5 women facing violence from a current partner never reach out to the police. Beyond the personal toll, domestic and family violence takes an economic toll.
● It takes an average of seven to eight attempts and approximately $18,000 and 141 hours to leave an abusive relationship.
● In 2016, violence against women and their children cost Australia an estimated $26 billion, with victim survivors bearing about 50 per cent of that burden.
● It is also estimated that loss of productivity and absenteeism due to domestic violence directly costs Australian businesses more than $2 billion per year.

These statistics make for painful reading and show the enormity of the task in front of us to somehow change things for the better. If you just consume the statistics, they are frightening and condemning of our society. But remember these are so much more than just statistics. They are your aunties, your sisters, your mothers. They are people who instead of feeling safe and secure, are victims of heinous bullies who are making their lives a misery. We’ve just come through the worst period of the year for incidents of domestic and family violence. Just looking at figures for Queensland, where I live, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are a time of fear and intimidation for many, rather than a time of celebration.

Over the holiday period in 2022 – the latest figures that are available from the Queensland Police Service – there was a 32 per cent increase in reported cases of Domestic Violence when compared to the previous year. That’s a rise from 4,346 calls to 5,724 calls to police over the Christmas/New year period. On Christmas Day police received 595 calls. On New Year’s Day another 599 calls. It’s hard to know where to start to fix the problem. There are big things that Governments can do (like the new online system to track the number of domestic violence-related deaths which will be launched mid-year), and then there’s little things that individuals can do.

This year I am the vice captain of Nomads Golf Club Brisbane and we have partnered with a Brisbane based organisation called Challenge DV to tackle domestic and family violence.

“Challenge DV is not just an organisation; it’s a movement on a mission to eradicate domestic and family violence,’’ Challenge DV chief executive officer Keith Tracey-Patte said.

“Since 2001, the team has been steadfast in their commitment to educate, advocate, and empower individuals across various sectors to take a stand against abuse and violence. Their daily efforts contribute to creating a safer and kinder world for all.’’

On May 31, Nomads Golf Club Brisbane will host a charity day at Gailes Golf Club to raise money and awareness, for an innovative and new Challenge DV program. The program we will fund involves educating men and young men in sporting clubs about domestic and family violence.

“Preventing violence demands collective action, and men must be informed about how they can personally contribute,’’ Mr Tracey-Patte said. “Nomads, in collaboration with Challenge DV, is hosting the Nomads Charity Golf Day to raise funds that will be directed towards a groundbreaking initiative.

“The funds raised will drive the development and implementation of a domestic and family violence education program within sporting clubs. This program aims to educate boys and men about domestic and family violence, providing them with the tools to intervene effectively. This includes recognising signs of violence, how to have safe and respectful conversations, and guiding individuals involved toward the support they need.’’

There’s no doubt that sport, like the holiday period, is a domestic violence trigger. Data released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics shows that on State of Origin game nights, there is a staggering 40.7 per cent surge in domestic assaults in NSW.

Research in the UK also confirms the link between sport and domestic violence. Lancaster University studied family violence during the football World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010, and found a 26 per cent rise in domestic assaults when England won or drew, and a 38 per cent rise when the team lost.

If you want to join Brisbane Nomads and Challenge DV in making a difference you can by getting involved in the Nomads Charity Golf Day on May 31 at Gailes Golf Club.

To book your spot in the field, or to become a sponsor, contact Brian Crisp at [email protected].

Nomads Golf Clubs across Australia raised more than $150,000 for charity in 2023. Clubs in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast held five successful charity days throughout the year.

“Nomads prides itself on giving back to the community,’’ Nomads Australia national president Kel Hirini said.

“This is a great effort across the country, and the money raised will change people’s lives in a real and meaningful way.’’

FAMILY VIOLENCE DISCLAIMER: If you are concerned about domestic and family violence in your family, friends or workplace, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732, Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978, Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 for confidential support, advice and referral that will help you explore your options.

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