Effects of new legislation on domestic violence

13th April 2011

I watched on the news this morning and was interested to know more about the new legislation but it still leaves questions unanswered and may be someone reading this can explain the difference because I am hopelessly stuck with any answers.

Effects of new legislation on domestic violence will allow suspected wife/husband beaters to be banned from the home for up to one month even if the evidence is weak and not enough to charge perpetrator. This order would be immediate if a senior police officer fears for the safety of the abusers partner and children suffering further by the accused returning home.

New powers to tackle domestic violence is long overdue and will now help the children caught in the middle of this unhealthy lifestyle. Two women a week die from domestic violence and many more injured without reporting this crime. Many children have died from domestic violence but it’s reported as child abuse. Marry up the figures and we get a more realistic outline of the reality of this crime. Men also suffer domestic violence but the majority of abusers are men.

It’s about time the children were taken into consideration and the government recognises that when a woman is caught in this endless cycle of violence she cannot possibly protect her children when she can’t protect herself.

I remember listening to my stepfather hitting my mother when I was I was in my bed at night. My mother would send us to bed early knowing he would be home from the pub and the night would end in violence. The car would be parked sometimes sideways on the pavement and mother would rush out and straighten it. Driving whilst in a drunken stupor was a daily exercise. It became a ritual and as child I hated him for what he was doing and despised my mother for allowing it.

When stepfather turned his anger towards me, I had nowhere to turn and my mother seemed to welcome the unhealthy attention that was placed upon us, rather than her. I remember one afternoon watching my stepfather crawling up the hill towards home after drinking to access, which was normal for him most afternoons, and he was furious because the landlord had taken his car keys, so he had to get home via the bus. I sat on the step by my gate and listened to the argument that ensued between mother and the drunken bully. I heard the slaps and his angry venomous voice spitting vile intentions at her. All went silent and I thought mother may be dead; she appeared in a state of panic instructing me to leave and not return till the following day. A neighbour took me in and to be honest it was the best night sleep I had had and didn’t want to leave the security of her home.

Kids suffer terribly at the hands of violent parents and the psychological damage can sometimes last a lifetime. I am thankful the government have put things in place to protect and help the innocent victims of domestic abuse. But I have to add that it still doesn’t protect children who are being physically abused in the home. What is the difference between beating an adult and child within the home – domestic abuse and the way it is dealt with should be used in all instances. But still the child who accuses is the one that is removed from everything they know and love.

Can someone please explain to me the difference between the two?

Physical abuse within the home is domestic abuse because it happens in the home and seems to be reserved for adults only.

Why is physical abuse in the home against a child categorized as child abuse? And dealt with differently they are ostracized from the family and become the victim again.

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