The OJ Simpson trial had everything that captures mass attention. Murder. Celebrities. A car chase. Racial tension. Outrageous characters. A live legal trial. Sexual discrimination.
I’ve been watching American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson from the FX Channel, listening to the True Crime Profile podcast break down all the issues of the case and intently Googling all characters to see how they looked really compared to the actors.
After hearing some of the 911 calls which Nicole Brown Simpson made, I started getting pretty outraged that none of the domestic abuse which Nicole suffered was included in the proceeding. Nicole Brown-Simpson’s friends said they didn’t know.
I found this staggering, surely there must be a way to tell your friend is being abused?
Maybe it was just an early 90s thing, today we would speak up or people would be more aware? Unfortunately not.
- Assuming levels stay the same as 2009, Intimiate Partner Violence (IPV) will cost the Australian economy around $15.6 billion each year by 2021 (National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009).
- 22% of all female homicides in Australia are caused by violence of a current or former partner
- It is estimated that 17% of all Australian women over the age of 18 have experienced violence from a partner since they turned 15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013)
- Guys are being subjected to IPV also, one in three victims that have experienced violence from their current partner during the last 12 months (33.3%) were male (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013)
- One in six women in Australia have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence from their current or former partner (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013). Worldwide, the figure is closer to one in three (WHO, 2013).
Have you been out to dinner lately?
Here’s the thing though, I went to dinner with a bunch of friends recently and there were seven of us around the table. It’s pretty likely that at least one of my friends at dinner had experienced physical or sexual violence by their current or prior boyfriend or husband. If they had, I didn’t know about it.
The DASH Checklist
Perhaps I’m not seeing the signs or perhaps we are a fortunate group. Either way, thanks to the promotion and advocacy of Laura Richards, one of the presenters of True Crime Profile, there is a checklist to assess risk of harm for victims of stalking, harassment and domestic abuse.
Laura Richards is also the founder of the Paladin Service in the UK, a service to help victims of stalking and she does work around training professionals to use the DASH (Domestic abuse, stalking and harassment) checklist to save lives with earlier intervention and prevention.
Enforcement agencies and other professionals who work with domestic abuse victims use this checklist all over the world to assess potential risk of harm.
Obviously professionals undertake formal training and use a more complex list, however the key questions below and here are also included in the formal risk assessment professionals use.
For each ‘yes’ answer, the risk and likelihood of serious harm increases.
And as the latest data is showing, it’s not just women being abused, check out http://www.oneinthree.com.au/faqs/ for more information on intimate partner violence against men.
Keep these in mind next time you’re at dinner with your friends and consider chatting privately if something doesn’t seem right.
If you are being stalked by someone ask yourself these questions
- Are you very frightened?
- Is there previous domestic abuse or stalking/harassment history?
- Have they vandalised or destroyed your property?
- Have they turned up unannounced more than three times a week?
- Have they followed or loitered near your home or workplace?
- Have they made threats of a physical or sexual violence nature?
- Have they harassed or stalked any thrid party since the harassment began?
- Have they acted violently towards anyone else during the stalking incident?
- Have they engaged other people to help with their activities?
- Have they had problems in the past year with drugs, alcohol or mental health?
- Have they ever been in trouble with the police or do they have a criminal history?
In the 90s, OJ Simpson got away with beating his wife Nicole Simpson Brown for years with little to no consequences. It’s not okay, and it shouldn’t happen today.
If there is any kind of good that can come from such injustice it is awareness around the issues of domestic abuse so we can move towards prevention and earlier intervention.
- Anrows study Examination of the health outcomes of intimate partner violence against women: State of knowledge paper
- Intimate partner violence (IPV) means one or more acts of physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former partner since the age of 15 years
- Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) affects around 30 percent of women who have ever been in a relationship worldwide (WHO, 2013).
- IPV has wide ranging health consequences for women, in particular mental and reproductive health problems (WHO, 2013).
- Assuming levels stay the same as 2009, IPV will cost the Australian economy around $15.6 billion each year by 2021 (National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009).
- IPV contributes to poverty (Lindhorst, Oxford & Rogers, 2007), increases chances of homelessness (Tually, Faulkner, Cutler & Slatter, 2008), social isolation (Wright, 2012) and education and employment related difficulties (Banyard, Potter & Turner, 2011; Kimerling, Alvarez, Pavao, Mack, Smith & Baumrind, 2009; Staggs, Long, Mason, Krishnan & Riger, 2007; Flood & Fergus, 2008).
- There were particular health outcomes that stood out as having strong and convincing or probable evidence of increased risk due to exposure to IPV: depression, termination of pregnancy and homicide.
- It is estimated that 17% of all Australian women over the age of 18 have experienced violence from a partner since they turned 15 (ABS, 2013)