Real Life Stories And Poems

Say No to Violence - It's Everybody's Business

Domestic and family violence prevention month in Bundaberg was promoted at the Botanical Gardens on Sunday, 26th May, 2013 with a family fun morning which included welcomes from a MP and Indigenous Australian, candle lighting ceremony, a walk around the lake, release of some white doves, stalls displaying information about what domestic violence is, where victims, perpetrators and survivors can get help, etc., promotional artwork, and food and drinks - all of which was to promote the message:

Say No to Violence – It’s Everybody’s Business.

I joined in part of the march which ended beside Bert Hinkler’s House. A gentleman said a few words and then five pure white doves were released. The release of these doves represented peace, love, harmony, freedom – a new start.

At first the doves did not want to leave the safe box, but once one left the others quickly followed. They went over our heads and up into the sky. At first they were all went in different directions but quite quickly came together as a group and started to circle around and around. They circled to one side, then another. Several times people said, “They have gone now.” But then they came back putting on quite a performance for all to see. After an unusually long time they finally headed back home to safety and freedom.

As I thought about the birds, their constant circling, and the reason for this gathering it reminded me of the cycle of violence in spouse abuse.  This cycle occurs in most violent relationships in various forms, with varying time between the different phases, but usually follows a similar pattern of phases:

  • Build Up Phase – increase in tension.
  • Standover Phase – control and fear.
  • Explosion.
  • Remorse Phase – justification, minimisation, and guilt.
  • Pursuit Phase – pursuit and promises.
  • Honeymoon Phase.
  • Then back to the Build Up Phase.

The cycle of violence is not a perfect circle. Sometimes some phases seem to be more dominant than others or lean more one way than another. Also the length of time for each phase to pass can vary enormously, with some phases overlapping like they are doing a dance. Other times it may seem like the whole cycle is gone altogether. Then suddenly it comes back, usually with a vengeance.

The domestic violence cycle usually continues until one of the parties leave – this can be in the form separation of a couple or even death of one party.

If and when this separation does take place the survivor of domestic violence gains a sense of freedom that they never knew was even possible. Heading to a safe place is of the utmost importance at this time. They can grow and become the person that they are really supposed to be if they receive the help and support that they require.

This is the time when community services like women’s shelters, counselling services, and self-help/development workshops become an absolute necessity. (A list of the organisations that provide these services in the Bundaberg area and that supported this fun day is at the end of this article.) Without these services the survivor is likely to get into another relationship similar to what they have just left and the cycle starts all over again.

If you are in a domestic violent situation please get help – finding help can be as simple as a phone call that opens up a whole new world and sets you free. Free like the birds flying home to safety and freedom!

© Sandra Goeldner, May, 2013.



Some of the organisations supporting this function were:

Edon Place www.edonplace.org.au

UnitingCare Community www.uccommunity.org.au

Phoenix House www.phoenixhouse.com.au

Centracare  www.centacare.net

Relationships Australia www.raq.org.au

Queensland Police www.police.qld.gov.au

Hinkler Lions Club http://bundyregionconnect.qld.gov.au/service-clubs/lions-club-bundaberg-hinkler-inc

Bundaberg Toy Library http://bundyregionconnect.qld.gov.au/childrens-services/bundaberg-toy-library

Let’s Read http://www.letsread.com.au/Communities/Let-s-Read-in-the-community/Queensland/Bundaberg



© S. D. Goeldner, 2013. Last updated August, 2016.
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