• Karen Hutchinson

Community Attitudes and Beliefs About Family Harm

There is a lot of family harm that goes on in our community and for a lot of people it’s seen as either normal, or too hard to fix. It can be thought of as no one else’s business and a private family matter. We may have an attitude that it is up to the victims to ask for help and then take the help offered and if not, it’s their fault.

One aspect that is often missing in a community’s understanding about family harm is an awareness of power imbalances in relationship that can lead to family harm.

These ideas reinforce the family harm cycle because the person with lesser power can’t influence the person with more power very well. Victims need a great deal of support to stay safe at home when family harm exists, or they need a lot of resources and help to leave if they choose to.

Even abusive relationships will have times of great pleasure and safety just like abuse free relationships. This can cause confusion and turmoil as the victim will hang on for the good bits when the hard stuff is happening.

It’s always the person using abuse that is responsible for the abuse and not the victim.

As a community, we are collectively responsible for calling out abuse when we see it and ensuring safety of victims, particularly children. You can do this by reporting what you see or hear to the Police. If it is safe for you to do so, take the abuser aside and tell them to stop and you can provide a safe place for children to come to when the fighting starts. You can also join your local It’s okay to ask for help campaign and become a community champion.

Together, let’s stop family harm in our Community.

If this sounds like something you might like support with, come in or call us.

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