Support for families experiencing domestic violence
Wesley Mission News spoke to Yvette from Wesley Brighter Futures Nepean about how she and her team come into contact with families experiencing domestic violence;
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the use or threat of harm to control another person. In many cases it can remain hidden from others outside the family home as the person causing harm establishes control through fear and may use coercive behaviours such as intimidation and other forms of psychological abuse.
Many victims of domestic violence are isolated from their family and friends and they do not feel they have the support networks necessary to reach out for help. Often perpetrators of abuse will use threats such as hurting the children if the victim tries to leave.
What are some of the early signs of domestic violence?
When working with families in the Wesley Brighter Futures program Case Workers are on the lookout for some of these tell-tale signs:
- reports of being possessive or over-protective
- partners preventing access to money or other material goods
- feelings of fear directed towards the partner most of the time
- threats of suicide if a person tries to leave
- displays of anger, threatening to harm the person or their children.
What’s the best way to help someone who is experiencing domestic violence?
The best thing you can do is offer support – listen to what the person has to say and believe what is being said. It can be very hard to reach out particularly with the threat of violence looming so if someone confides in you, offer your non-judgemental support.
The next step is to get some professional help, teams like the ones at Wesley Brighter Futures are equipped and experienced, our role is to empower the person to help move themselves and any children to safety by offering practical assistance such as legal support, housing and counselling.
To learn more about the Wesley Brighter Futures program.