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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Violent Father - Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence 

Topic: Violent Father - Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence 

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. anonymous_01
    anonymous_01 avatar
    1 posts
    22 January 2018

    Growing up I was always confronted with domestic abuse. It all started when my father and mother divorced that he was armed with a weapon and threatened to kill us all. Long story short, the police came to arrest him and put a restraining order on him for 48 hrs. Fast forward 8 years later and the same ordeal still happens every time my parents argue. After their divorce, my parents separated and I lived with my mother and younger sister. However, my dad was always in and out of our lives because my sister is severely disabled and my mother needs my father's help. Every time he came back into our lives, things got violent and so did the frequency of the threats. Recently I moved out of home because I could no longer tolerate the violence however I hear that he still threatens my mother and sister. I know that my mother feels like she can't call the police anymore because she still needs his help and he knows she needs him so he becomes dominating and if things don't go his way he will threaten to kill my family. Each time this happens it is very violent, he will hit my mother and threaten her violently. When I used to live at home he would stop when I screamed. But now that I'm gone, my mother has to run out of the house leaving my sister all alone. My father is currently living in the same house as my mother because my sister's disability has become worse. I fear that my father's violent behaviour will eventually go out of hand, but my mother can't kick him out or seek help from family/friends as we do not have any in Australia. My mother also suffers from anxiety and depression so each time he threatens her it really affects her. Sometimes I feel guilty for not living at home to support my mother but I feel much more safe and happier since I've moved out. Would appreciate any help or suggestions if you have gone through something similar.

    Anonymous

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Hayfa
    beyondblue Connect Mentor
    • beyondblue Connect is a FREE service that puts people living in Victoria's Greater Dandenong community, in touch with mentors. They can support your wellbeing and help you achieve your goals.
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Lebanon
    Hayfa avatar
    120 posts
    22 January 2018 in reply to anonymous_01

    Hi anonymous_01

    I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation you, your mum and sister have had to endure.
    This really is very sensitive and tricky, however I really need to ask, what help does your father offer that entails he has to be close by? Is your father's presence due to your mother wanting this or your father impinging himself in your lives?
    You need to look at other appropriate supports for your mother and sister, these have to come from disability care for your sister and an appropriate women's help service for your mother.
    Look at the multicultural services available for your community, they exist and they are helpful.

    I have not personally had such experiences but I know women from my ethnic community that have and they have stood up for themselves, sought and received appropriate support and lived peacefully and contently without the man and the horrible violence.
    It is important to start looking at appropriate support and discuss this with your mother first. Your mum has to want this otherwise nothing will change. Your father does not have to be a part of your lives if violence is his only way and a restraining order from the police can last longer than 48 hours, it can be one that ensures he is no where near your vicinity for a much longer period and in fact, if you sought legal representation a judge can make a restraining order valid for years.

    Let us know how you go please, talk to us here so that you may receive more support and other notions of the best way forward.

    Hayfa

    2 people found this helpful
  3. J.M.12345
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Lebanon
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    J.M.12345 avatar
    46 posts
    22 January 2018 in reply to anonymous_01

    Hi Anonymous,

    Thank you for reaching it. It's a really brave thing to do, and I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. Domestic violence is really difficult to go through, and whilst I haven't been through it, I can imagine how hard it must be for you, especially because ultimately the abuser is your father.

    It's understandable that you feel guilt from moving out, but from my perspective, I am glad you are safe. I think it's important to take care of yourself because you need to be well and safe in order to help your family. So that should be your priority. Go to counsellors to help with your guilt, speak up to people and groups you trust, share your experiences if you feel comfortable here on the forums etc. Exercise, meditate, go out with friends to take a break from the situation. Self-care is important.

    In terms of your mum and sister, I think it might be worth weighing up the support he is providing with the abuse. For example, if the support is financial, is it worth the pain and danger of abuse? Domestic violence is very dangerous physically, but also mentally, because it can drive the person to depression and anxiety, which is an illness that I think, if left untreated, can be life-threatening.

    Most likely, the support is not worth the pain, and your mum and sister would want to escape this. Can this support be sought from elsewhere? There are community and government services that might be able to help with this, and if you feel comfortable sharing the type of support required, we might have some ideas here on the forums.

    I also encourage you to encourage your mum and sister to seek a mental health professional, especially your mum as she is dealing with depression/anxiety. I've heard that with many domestic violence cases as well it can be hard to put an end to it because of the familiarity and attachment to the abuser, who is often, as in your case, a family member or spouse. I cannot even begin to imagine the difficulty of loving someone and then they become an abuser. Therapy might help with this sort of thing if this is the case.

    In terms of getting a longer restraining order and involving police, this is ultimately up to the victims, and as Hayfa said your mum will have to want this, though if you and your sister do I think you can also make an application (my legal info here is not 100% so pls check). But overall it might be worth having a family discussion with your mum and sister about what you want moving forward.

    Josette

    2 people found this helpful
  4. blueskye
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Hong Kong
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blueskye avatar
    67 posts
    22 January 2018 in reply to anonymous_01

    You have been through a lot. I do hope things will get better!

    Josette and Hafa have both given excellent suggestions.

    There are services available to support your mum and sister. I personally think that having services and government financial support is a better alternative to having your abusive father around.

    Check out these links -

    https://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/benefits-and-payments/people-with-disability

    For your mum - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/helpful-contacts-and-websites/counselling-services

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/who-can-assist/getting-support-how-much-does-it-cost

    Even though you're no longer living with your mum and sister, try help around the house when you can - look after your sister when you're free, pick up the weekly groceries, etc.

    Stay strong <3

  5. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    23 January 2018 in reply to anonymous_01

    Hello Anonymous,

    This is such a difficult situation to be in. I understand your feelings. Thank you for sharing your experience here. Violence is never ok. You have done the best thing to remove yourself physically from the violent environment and as you said you feel happier and safer as a result.

    Now, you are taking the next step in reaching out in this forum, sharing the experience (which helps) and seeking support, ideas etc on how to help your mum and your sister. Ultimately, your father also needs help. There are supports and services for perpetrators and behavioral change programs that the violent person can learn different ways of dealing with stress, anger and difficult situations which seem to push him to act violently. Your father is clearly not coping either. Your mother needs support. Your sister requires help as I’m assuming she can’t access that by herself and you need guidance and support to move forward from this horrific experience.

    When the violence takes place, anyone can call 000 and police upon arrival can put a restraining order. After the 48 hrs there is a court hearing and the intervention can become longer (even years as Hayfa said).

    There are domestic violence services like InTouch and services for carers like CarersVic that can help your mum. Also, through the NDIS your sister can access a lot of support for her disability - Brotherhood of St Lawrence overlooks mostly over these.

    There are also various ethnic and multicultural services offering social work and counseling and link people into a variety of services who offer bilingual/bicultural professional services. I’d suggest lookup what exists in your mother’s language. Talking to a doctor also helps. They are equipped to refer and help.

    As the violence has been going on for a long time, solutions may not be immediate, however, it’s a process and steps can be taken towards the right direction.

    Good on you for looking after yourself first and caring for the rest of the family too.

    Sometimes cultural notions and beliefs may keep women in violent situations but as Hayfa mentioned, many have a breakthrough as in this country there are numerous supports available.

    Hope you get all the help you need. Please keep talking to us and see how we can help you through these forums.

    1 person found this helpful

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