LIFE & HEALTH CHALLENGES
Immediate help and assistance
Help and assistance are available if you are, or someone you know is, experiencing domestic violence. Quest for Life is not a crisis centre. If you are experiencing domestic violence and need immediate help, use these services:
- Call 000 if your life is in danger
- 1800 Respect – 1800 737 732 – 24/7 confidential information, counselling, and support services
- For mental health crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Beyondblue website also includes many useful forums and resources.
About domestic violence
It’s often expected that domestic violence reveals itself in bruises, physical injuries and sexual violence – and of course, sadly that is often the case. We know now, of course, that domestic violence presents in so many other non-physical controlling, manipulative, and abusive forms.
People who have experienced domestic violence may conceal the consequences of physical violence by hiding injuries or making excuses for bruises – or worse. In many situations the actual abuse, particularly manipulative abuse and coercive control, can make people experiencing domestic violence feel dependent on the abuser – and that bond can stop people from telling parents, siblings, or anyone about what’s happening “behind closed doors”.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is disturbingly common in Australia. Domestic violence is a form of abuse that usually occurs as a pattern of behaviours aimed at exerting power and control over another person. This can occur in the context of intimate personal relationships (partner or ex-partner), family violence, or informal care relationships. Any person can experience domestic violence, but it predominantly affects women and children. Indigenous women, young women, and pregnant women.
There are many different types of abusive behaviour that are recognised as domestic violence, and all abuse is unacceptable. Domestic violence can include the following:
- Coercive control is a pattern of controlling and manipulative behaviours which aims to engender fear and control a person.
- Social abuse isolates a person from their support network including family and friends. This can include controlling who a person speaks to or spends time with or sabotaging the relationships of a partner so that they lose these relationships.
- Psychological or Emotional abuse is behaviour that aims to debilitate a person’s self-worth. It can include ridiculing, gas-lighting, name-calling, and public humiliation.
- Tech abuse (also known as cyber abuse or tech-facilitated abuse) involves using technology to harass, control, or intimidate a person. This can include the sharing of private images or information without permission via social media, controlling social media access, or using technology to monitor a person’s whereabouts or social interactions.
- Sexual Violence is any unwanted or forced sexual activity.
- Financial abuse can include restricting access to money, accumulating debt in another person’s name, or preventing a person from seeking or maintaining employment.
- Physical abuse is the use of violence or threat of violence to intimidate, instil fear, and control a person. This can also include damage to property such as smashing valuables.
- Pet abuse can include ‘abuse’ or the ‘threat of abuse’ of pets. This is often used to manipulate and control a person and their children.
How does domestic violence impact a person’s health and wellbeing?
People who have experienced or been exposed to domestic violence can be at a higher risk of experiencing a range of mental health challenges including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide as a result of their experiences in violent and controlling relationships. Exposure to domestic violence can also impact a person’s capacity to engage with their community, healthy relationships, education opportunities and fulfilling employment.
Domestic violence within a relationship can produce feelings of shame, self-loathing, and embarrassment. It can erode our feelings of trust in others, our self-respect and love for ourselves. We could feel hopeless and trapped in the situation and it can be difficult to seek support or assistance.
How Quest for Life can help
While Quest for Life doesn’t provide emergency accommodation or a quick-fix solution for women breaking the cycle of domestic violence, we do provide 5-day residential programs that enable women to take time out of their life, to consider their options and begin the necessary healing of poor self-respect or low self-esteem.
- In a 5-day Healing Your Life program, you’ll be supported, nurtured and assisted to find a pathway forward to healing and recovery that feels just right for you.
- In a 5-day Moving Beyond Trauma program, learn ways to heal the past and bring relief to your troubled body, mind & spirit in a confidential safe environment.
Quest for Life knows how to help: our internal research results show that participants feel better after attending a program and that this improvement increases over time. On our programs, you’ll be nourished, educated and supported to create an environment for profound healing.
Grant funding and donations to attend our programs are available for people affected by domestic violence. Contact us to find out more.
So, if you’re experiencing domestic violence and want to break the cycle, we will do whatever we can to assist you to reclaim your life so that you can make healthier choices in the future. Fill in the Contact Form below and one of our Program Advisors will be in touch to answer your questions or call us on 1300-941-488.
“Quest gave me a space of safety, of being heard, being understood and finally helped me to start to see I was not the problem.” – Kylee
Online courses: Befriending Anxiety, Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep
Our Self-Paced On-Demand Online Courses – Befriending Anxiety; Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep – are delivered over 4 video modules and provide practical, positive and easy-to-follow guidance and advice. They encourage and help you to identify and implement strategies to build your resilience, and to incorporate these into your own personal plan for each course.
Befriending Anxiety, Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep courses cost $99 each (or $250 for all 3) and include:
- 4 self-paced Video Modules
- Integrated workbook with reflective questions
- Personal Plan template and guide
- Additional resources – research and links
- Downloadable meditation MP3s
Some of these practices can help you to calm your mind and improve your wellbeing and can be found on our toolkit page:
- Keys to help you sleep better
- Meditation practices
- Trauma recovery workbook
- Recovering from Trauma video series
- Wellbeing books Including Your Life Matters by Petrea King – a guidebook for life
- Meditations including Be Calm, Sleep, Learning to Meditate
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