1. it does NOT happen in a vacuum
2. it does NOT happen because someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Our homes and families are supposed to be our sacred territories, havens in an often heartless world. This is part of what makes Domestic, Family and Relationship Abuse so untenable, so unacceptable.
Domestic, Family and Relationship Abuse is abuse from someone you know, from someone you trust, from someone who claims to love you.
Domestic, Family and Relationship Abuse is often hidden from even our closest confidantes and, very often, the physical violence is far less damaging than the emotional and verbal violence.
So why am I so against the proposition that victims and perpetrators of Domestic, Family and Relationship Abuse attend Relationship Counselling sessions?
1. Relationship Counselling won't and can't stop Domestic, Family and Relationship Abuse
2. Relationship Counselling is not a Perpetrator Behaviour Change Program
3. Relationship Counselling will make victims feel they have to change their behaviour in order to stop "triggering" their violent partners - and haven't they already been doing that?
Victims of Domestic, Family or Relationship Abuse don't need Relationship Counselling; they need strong safety nets to help them to live lives free from fear. They/We need our governments, regardless of colour or stripes, to respect and heed current research, to listen to the experience of those with lived experience, and to put a LOT more money into frontline services that do both of those things.