Traditional media and social media attention has been focused on the Gittany trial, where Mr Gittany has now been found guilty of throwing his de facto, Ms Harnum, over the 15th floor balcony of their apartment.

The attention is no doubt because the average person doesn’t see a lot of domestic violence, and because the victims rarely talk about it even after they have left the violent relationship.  At Coode & Corry we unfortunately see domestic violence all too often.  We see both men and women who are the victims of domestic violence.  Domestic violence is often about control, not physical strength.

We see many forms of domestic violence. Professionals who work in these areas talk about five types of domestic violence, they are:

  • Physical (either causing physical pain, or withholding necessities like medication or a wheelchair)
  • Sexual (either forcing sex, or withholding sex and blaming the victim and their sexuality or lack thereof for this action)
  • Emotional (constant criticism, undermining the person’s self worth)
  • Economic (financial control)
  • Psychological (intimidation, threatening to commit suicide, forced imprisonment, hurting pets or children, intentionally breaking precious items)

If someone discloses to you that they are the victim of domestic violence, listen to the person and encourage them to seek help.  Do not approach the alleged perpetrator.  Until the victim is ready to physically remove themself from the situation, approaching the perpetrator only exposes the victim to further abuse for telling or ‘dobbing.’ What most victims need is to remove themselves and any children from the situation, at least temporarily if not permanently. They may not yet be ready to do that, even though they are ready to talk about it. You need to encourage this person to seek help, from the Police, from a lawyer, or from a doctor. Janis Donnelly-Coode at Coode & Corry deals with these situations frequently, the first half hour appointment is free, and no phone calls or letters will be sent to the house.

If someone is falsely accused of being the perpetrator of domestic violence, which unfortunately also occurs, then Bruce Coode is very experienced at defending men and women in these situations.  Bruce Coode often takes instructions in these situations and will provide you with straight forward advice about your options and how to respond.