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Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

16 August 2016 at 11:00 am
Staff Reporter
Akolade’s second Breaking the Cycle of Domestic and Family Violence conference will take place from 27 to 29 September 2016 at Crowne Plaza in Melbourne.

Staff Reporter | 16 August 2016 at 11:00 am


Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence
16 August 2016 at 11:00 am

Sponsored: Akolade’s second Breaking the Cycle of Domestic and Family Violence conference will take place from 27 to 29 September 2016 at Crowne Plaza in Melbourne.


The theme of the conference is building frontline capacity to meet growing scalability demands.

Leading up to what would have been her son’s 14th birthday, Australian of the year 2015 and domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty urged the Australian Government to revise the family law system to protect children from domestic and family violence.

With many incidents of domestic and family violence occurring in the family household, children are often witnesses of the abuse perpetrated against a member of their family, or they are victims themselves.

In AIFS Survey of Recently Separated Parents, parents reported that 1,011 children had witnessed domestic violence before or during separation and 402 had witnessed domestic violence since separation.

Children can be indirectly affected by domestic violence seeing as “61 per cent of women affected by domestic violence had children in their care when the violence occurred, including 48 per cent who stated the children had seen and heard the violence”.

On the other hand, thousands of children are direct victims and suffer physically, psychologically and sexually as a result of acts of violence against them in the home.

What impact can domestic violence have on children?

Domestic violence can have a myriad of effects on children and young people, a few being:

  • PTSD and other types of trauma
  • fearfulness, anxiety and a constant feeling of insecurity
  • isolation and withdrawal
  • dire need for attention and affection
  • learning that violence can be a powerful tool to use in interpersonal relationships, and thus replicate the abusive behaviour
  • on the other hand, in future relationships they may expect that violence is the norm and accept it without demur
  • self-harm
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • juvenile delinquency and adult criminality

The AIFS Survey of Recently Separated Parents also found that there were higher levels of behavioural problems in children aged between one and three years who had witnessed physical and / or emotional violence compared to children who had never witnessed violence.

Children between the ages of five and 17 who have been exposed to violence over an extended period of time were also faring worse in terms of schoolwork, peer relationships and overall wellbeing compared to children who had never witnessed violence.

It is crucial that we address this critical issue of domestic violence in Australia soon to protect our children from further unnecessary harm.

Last year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committed $100 million to the cause; this was dwarfed by the Victorian Government’s pledge of $572 million in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence. This funding provides the opportunity for significant change and improvement of DFV services.

Akolade’s second Breaking the Cycle of Domestic & Family Violence Conference, which will be held in Melbourne from 27 to 29 September, provides a timely opportunity to explore practical strategies and innovations for front-line services. Book now.

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