by miss muffett
Written Nov 2006
|I believe one of my Best friends is involved in an abusive relationship. What can I do? If I attempt to talk to her she declares she can handle it. She maintains it isn't abuse because he doesn't hit her. Yet. Never mind that the reality is that he threatens to kill her pets, to kill himself and forbids her to go out anywhere. If she wants to come to visit me, she pretends she is doing grocery shopping. She is banned from seeing me, even talking to me because he overheard me talking to her about my concerns. I feel that I'm putting my nose where it doesn't belong, but I feel certain that her situation will get worse, not better.
The domestic abuse rate in New Zealand is so outrageously high that during December 2005 and January 2006, NZ Police attended nearly 11,000 instances of reported family violence- That is about one every eight minutes! The fact that on average a woman is killed by her partner or ex every two and a half weeks shocks me, and what's scary is that it seems to be getting worse, Between 20 November 2005 and 3 January 2006, six women were killed by their partners or previous partners - leaving 19 children orphaned. That is about one woman every 7 days! From October to December 2005, Women's Refuge provided 29,230 bednights for 15,562 women and 13,668 children.
The co-relationship between child abuse and partner abuse is estimated to be between 45-65% (Edelson, 1999) and it is proven that if the cycle of abuse isn't stopped, people who were victims as children are likely to become offenders in adulthood. I am even more alarmed at the statistics for the abuse of children; in December 2005 and January 2006 CYFS received almost 10,000 reports of abuse and suspected abuse- 10,000 reports in two months means 161 reports a day! And this is only a tiny fraction of the abuse in this country; www.preventingviolence.org.nz says that only 12 % of cases of domestic violence are ever reported. No wonder so many children slip through the cracks, there is no way CYFS could follow up that many claims.
The reality is that people need information and education about all kinds of abuse, BEFORE it has a chance to take hold of people's lives. But what about those such as my friend who are already living with abuse? Get out now. Sadly, it's unusual for commitments to change without first reaching a crisis point. By then there is likely to have been deep unhappiness for everyone involved.
Info from www.preventingviolence.org.nz