Letter: Let’s not call it domestic violence

I would like to propose, in this over politically correct world, that we stop using the phrase “Domestic Violence”.

Domestic to me is cooking and cleaning and making a warm and welcoming home for family and friends. Or, cats and dogs that provide love and companionship and chickens and cows that provide sustenance for your family.

If someone calls you stupid or useless or lazy … gives you a pet name of “Mad Cow”… says all your hobbies and dreams are ridiculous  … that is a “BULLY”. If someone knocks you to the ground and bangs your head against the floor until you blackout, leaving you with permanent damage, all while your six-week-old baby is watching on … OR … strangles you until a third party calls the police in order to make them stop, all while your two-year-old is asleep in the next room … OR … pins you down wrenching at your arms saying “I want to rip them off and hit you over the head until you’re dead”, all while your granddaughter sleeps two rooms away … that is “VIOLENCE”.

If these things happened at a bus stop they would be termed “Violent assault”. If they happened in a shopping centre they would be termed “Violent assault”. It seems that by using the term “Domestic Violence” it is somehow a green light for people to turn a blind eye. Phrases like “It happened behind closed doors” or “We didn’t SEE anything” or “There weren’t any marks” or “It was just a DOMESTIC” are all too common, even in the year 2018!! There is nothing “DOMESTIC” about BULLYING AND VIOLENCE!!

Imagine if Rosemary Batty or Allison Baden-Clay could have been heard sooner! The marks may not be there for everyone to see but the wounds and bruises to the souls of those involved never go away. Bullying is Bullying and Violence is Violence, it makes no difference if it happens to men, women or children or in a school, a work place, a pub, a street or a home. As a community we should stand up for the victim and renounce the perpetrator, no matter the circumstances or their standing in the community!!

PLEASE if you are in this position TELL SOMEONE! Keep telling people until you find the right person. Find yourself a decent GP, they have the understanding, compassion and resources to get you help that your friends and family might not. Don’t be afraid to accept that help. Believe me, you deserve it. Being a victim, whether it is bullying or violence, is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the perpetrator and all the people that “turned a blind eye” who need to be eternally ashamed.

Linda Roberts

Dorrigo