When we think about domestic and family violence we tend to think about what the victims experience, our thoughts generate visualisations of battered women and traumatised children, we conjure up images of the angry husband and why would we, this is what we have grown to see domestic and family violence as being. However, I recently returned from a lengthy stay in regional Western Australia where I spent some time working in the women's refuge. I came to learn that there is another dimension to family violence that rarely if at all do we hear about, and this is family retaliation. I had clients who were in more fear from what would happen if they saw family members in the community, and the stories of retaliation I had heard were gut-wrenching.
It is this retaliation, which is an area that I have great interest in. Society is so focused on empowering women, and educating men in changing behavioural patterns, that it appears that retaliation has not been considered as it should in community awareness, and therefore I have been driven to pursue further training that allows me to participate in research.
By undertaking postgraduate study I would be able to explore the area of family retaliation further across various cultural groups in Australia. It is my long term goal to facilitate a community program that promotes education in this area, however, without further developing my skills and expertise I would not be able to pursue an area I feel very passionate about. I argue by promoting positive relationships with extended family members we could increase success rates in rehabilitation, and reduce the likelihood of the victim continuing to be ostracised, within the family. By being supported in my studies and making social discoveries, not only can communities work towards change, but society also.