The troubling prevalence of domestic violence in Australia has only been acknowledged over recent years. Domestic violence is an ‘abuse of power and control that usually involves a pattern of violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by a partner, ex-partner, carer or family member to control, dominate or instil fear. Domestic violence doesn’t have to be physical abuse. It can be emotional, psychological, financial, sexual or other types of behaviour that exert power and control’8.
In Australia, the majority of domestic violence victims are women, who most commonly experience violence at the hands of a male partner or ex-partner in their own home9.
The issue of domestic violence is more prominent in low-income demographics, including ‘those not in paid employment, who had lower levels of education, who reported a disability or who were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander’10.
Domestic violence exposure has been linked to a number of adverse individual and community health outcomes, including higher prevalence of suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and death.
The PAYCE Foundation has been supporting a number of partners and projects over the years providing services to women and children who have been victims of domestic and family violence. The focus of these initiatives has ranged from building resilience in children, to providing crisis and transitional accommodation making use of underutilised properties, to developing and facilitating educational programs in the construction industry.