Domestic terrorism is a concept used by Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year 2015. Its effects on victims are similar to those of political terrorism.
Rosie Batty is herself a survivor of domestic terrorism. Eventually, her ex-partner battered their 11-year-old son, Luke, to death. He used a bat to kill Luke. They were at the child’s cricket training.
Rosie Batty is now a tireless and effective campaigner against domestic terrorism.
Domestic terrorism is more commonly called domestic violence. Or intimate partner violence. Or domestic abuse. But children and elderly people can also be victims.
Political terrorists use violence (and threats of violence) to intimidate and coerce (mostly) random strangers. Acts of terrorism result in intense fear. Political terrorism is meant to induce submission of whole populations.
Abusive partners and ex-partners also commit acts of violence to induce terror. The purpose is to control their victims. Victims live in constant fear.
The appointment of Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year has prompted the government to take domestic violence seriously. But the statistics show there is a very long way to go.
Some horrific Australian domestic terrorism statistics
- Seventy-eight women have been murdered by their partners or ex-partners so far this year.
- Every three hours, a woman is admitted to hospital as a result of partner violence.
Not all victims are killed. Not all victims end up in hospitals. Not all victims are women.
Seventy eight victims of political terrorism would be an outrage. Are seventy-eight victims of domestic terrorism any less outrageous?
Facts about domestic terrorism
In a respectful and equal relationship, partners are free to state their opinions. They can make decisions, be themselves, and say no to sex.
In an abusive relationship, one partner dominates. They use criticism, demands, threats, sexual pressure and physical harm. This behaviour is dangerous. It is frightening, confusing and damaging.
The the abuser controls and manipulates the other person.
Leaving an abusive relationship can be extremely difficult.
Take action against domestic terrorism
Everyone has a role in preventing domestic terrorism. We can
- Stop standing by without taking action;
- speak out about abuse
- support victims
- educate ourselves about family abuse.
- Finally, the United Nations has declared tomorrow, 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. We can wear a white ribbon. This will show solidarity with victims of abuse.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SITUATION,
- IN AN EMERGENCY PHONE 000 FOR URGENT HELP
- FOR COUNSELLING, RING THE NATIONAL COUNSELLING HELPLINE ON 1800 737 732