Gladstone not exempt from domestic violence: counsellor
DOMESTIC violence being seen as a ghost of the past, is what Women's Health Centre counsellor Pam Brown hopes they can one day achieve.
This Friday women, men and kids will rally for respect and remembrance of all those who have been affected by acts of sexual violence, at the annual Women's Health Centre event Reclaim the Night.
Ms Brown said Gladstone was not exempt from the global issue.
She said our increased population and diminishing quality family time, due to long and hard working hours, were contributing causes to an increase in this type of violence.
"People are separated from their usual family support which is a major factor," she said.
"Growing awareness and events like Reclaim the Night means a lot more women are more likely to seek help if they are a victim of domestic violence."
She said the traumatic effects of physical, emotional, financial or verbal abuse were both short and long term.
The short-term impacts can include losing confidence and the ability to make decisions and withdrawal from having contact with the rest of the world.
"Long term they can suffer depression, anxiety, and stress-related illnesses, and various mental health conditions," Ms Brown said.
She said she had an "optimistic approach" to domestic violence in the future.
"Every year the event has had quite a good turnout of families and children and we really encourage that.
"We just feel it's important that the message is trickling down to the younger generation."
And, following many school visits, she is impressed with the outlook of the young people in Gladstone.
"We're seeing a much stronger capacity of young women who are in control or assertive in relationships," she said.
"And I couldn't speak highly enough of the young men's respect for women."
- Bounce Back: Aimed at people who have experienced any kind of trauma. It looks at coping mechanisms, resilience, rebuilding confidence and the ability to function.
- Women Growing Stronger: Iconic 20-year-old program, written to assist women who have come through or are in a domestic violence situation.