Every one of us experiences pains,
loneliness or sadness.
We all deal with our inner struggles,
we all go through it.
Yet so many of us try to conceal the pain
and we walk around in even more sadness,
thinking no one understands.
But don’t be sad …
because someone does understand
You're not alone ...
By Jillian Cruse
Those who are directly affected by a crime or by abusive acts, are usually the ones recognised as the victims. However, both the primary victim and their family and friends often have to deal with the consequences.
Although not all violent crimes or acts of abuse are reported to, or recorded by police, at angelhands, we believe that any experience of violence or abuse may result in feelings of distress, health issues and/or various other challenges.
What is Interpersonal Violence?
Violent crimes or interpersonal violence are unlawful and intentional acts where one person causes harm to another. These crimes are defined in the Criminal Codes and Acts of each Australian state and territory, and the names and elements of each crime differ slightly from state to state.
Not all violent crimes involve a physical act of aggression. Some involve threats of violence or the deprivation of a person’s will or choice.
What is a Violent Crime?
A violent crime is when someone
- hurts you
- scares you
- makes you feel unsafe
- tries to control you.
The following are examples of some common forms of interpersonal violence taken from the Australian Standard Offence Classification, 2008 (Second Edition).
Types of Violent Crime
Abduction and Kidnapping:
The unlawful confinement of a person against their will, or against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of that person.
The attempted unlawful killing of another person, where there is either the intent to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm with the knowledge that it was probable that death or grievous bodily harm would occur (reckless indifference to life), not resulting in death.
The direct infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person or persons or the direct threat of force, injury or violence where there is an apprehension that the threat could be enacted. These actions must be considered to be immediate and confrontational.
An assault may not result in any physical injury such as face to face threats to kill or injure or a deliberate transmission of a disease.
Blackmail and Extortion:
The unlawful demanding with intent to gain money, property, or any other benefit from, or with intent to cause detriment to, another person, accompanied by the use of coercive measures, to be carried out at some point in the future if the demand is not met.
Deprivation of Liberty/False Imprisonment:
The unlawful confinement of a person against their will, or against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of that person, and not involving the removal of the person.
Harassment and Threatening Behaviour:
Actions that harass or are intended to harass, threaten or invade the privacy of an individual. The action can be face-to-face, written, or made through a carriage service (e.g. phone, computer etc.)
Physical contact, or intent of contact, of a sexual nature directed toward another person where that person does not give consent, gives consent as a result of intimidation or deception, or consent is proscribed (the person is legally incapable of giving consent due to youth, mental incapacity or a familial relationship).
Sexual assault includes penetration of any part of the human body and may be penetration with an object. It includes incest, rape, drugging with an intent to rape, fellatio/cunnilingus and threats to sexually assault.
Sexual assaults may occur to men and women and within a marriage.
It is also useful to read the information about the common myths about sexual assault by clicking here.
Someone does or tries to do sexual things to you that you do not want.
- someone touches you in ways that make you feel bad
- someone shows you things that make you feel bad
- someone touches your private parts
- asks you to touch their private parts
Private parts are a persons
You do not want the person to do any of these things. The person may tell you
- not to tell anyone
- what they did is ok
- what they you to do is ok
You did not want these things to happen.
Acts intended to cause physical or mental harm, or to arouse apprehension or fear in a person, through a repeated course of unreasonable conduct. This includes unauthorised surveillance, interference with property, offensive material and other communications.
- Someone follows you more than 1 time to places they know you will be.
- Someone sends you things more than 1 time you do not want. For example
- messages on your mobile phone
- letters in the mail
The robber hits you or hurts you
The Robber make you afraid that he will hit you or hurt you and the robber has a weapon.
For example, the robber has a gun or a knife or a baseball bat and the robber takes something from you.
- your mobile phone
- hits you
- punches you
- burns you
- kicks you
You are hurt by
- someone in your family or
- someone you are very close to.
The person could be
- someone you are married to or living with
- your brother or sister
- your son or daughter
- someone you are very close to and they feel like they are family. For example, a long time carer.
The person might
- hurt you
- frighten you
- say they will hurt your family or pet
- keep your money
- not give you your medicine or food
- say they will leave you alone with no help
Who is a Victim of Violent Crime?
Anyone can be a victim of violent crime. A victim is someone who was hurt by another person.
After a Violent Crime
What might happen to your body?
You might have
- broken bones
How you might feel?
- be very sad for a long time
- be frightened
- be confused
- not feel safe
Who Does a Violent Crime?
Anyone can do a violent crime. For example
- Someone from your family
- a friend
- your partner
- someone you do not know
- someone who looks after you
This might be
Who can help you?
If you believe that you have been subjected to interpersonal violence, it is important to talk to someone about it. No one has the right to make you feel scared, degraded or humiliated.
Victims of Crime Helpline.
Phone 1800 819 817 or Email VSA@justice.vic.gov.au(link sends e-mail)
You can call us using the
National Relay Service.
- TTY users phone 1800 555 677
- Speak and Listen users phone 1800 555 727
We will tell you about the Victim Support Service near where you live.
The Victims Support Service is a service for victims of violent crime. There are people who will
- listen to you
- give you information
- help you to talk to the police.
In an emergency call 000.
For further information about violent crime, please download the fact sheets below:
Crime affects everyone differently. Your experience will be unique and is likely to affect not only how you think and feel but your relationships with friends, family and the wider community. Some things you may experience include:
- Physical effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic physical complaints
- Difficulty concentrating
- Tenseness or lethargy
- Subsequent effects on your health from these physical effects may include:
- Physical Injuries
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- An unwanted pregnancy
- Sleep disturbances
- High blood pressure
- Risk taking behaviour
- Substance or alcohol abuse
- Post Traumatic Stress disorder
- Psychological effects:
- Shame or embarrassment
- Low self esteem
- Social withdrawal
- Numbness or feelings of loss and abandonment
- Loss of pleasure and interest
You may also feel pressure from the prosecutors or community to have an opinion about the offender and their sentencing. Society may have a strong reaction to the crime or demand a tough conviction or legislative change. Your experience may also affect others in your immediate family and social group.
Throughout this process it is important to monitor the effect these changes are having on your day to day life. If you feel overwhelmed, please seek help from friends, family or one of the many services available to you.
Interpersonal crime is largely under reported in Australia. It is important to tell someone if you believe that you may be a victim of interpersonal crime. Without a report or statement it is difficult for the Police and the Department of Public Prosecutions to protect you and others.
Where a violent incident occurs, it is important to see the Police as soon as possible. Try not to wash or clean yourself, clothing or any other items that may be used as evidence. Delayed reports are not seen as false; it just makes the Police Officers’ job a little harder.
If you can’t see an officer straight away, write down as much information as you can about the crime including:
- where you were
- what time it was
- what happened to you
- who attacked or hurt you
- if you don’t know who hurt you, what was the other person wearing, their height, hair and eye colour, smell or distinctive features
- whether anyone else was close by
- what injuries, if any, you suffered.
Many local police stations have specialist officers who are available to talk to and make any statements that might be necessary. In particular, there are contact Sergeants available for reports of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assaults.
If you feel scared, you can take someone with you to the Police Station. This could be a friend, family member or another support person. If you don’t want to be in the waiting area for too long, appointments with the Police can be arranged over the phone. For immediate police assistance, call 000.
Victim Impact Statement
Please download the brochure guide Preparing a victim impact statement to help you prepare a statement and to access information about what to include, and what not to include in a Victim Impact Statement.
Making Your Report
Tell the police exactly what happened and describe any injuries or losses, including as much detail as possible.
Police may ask questions that make you feel uncomfortable. These questions may be difficult to answer, but they are an important part of the investigation.
You may be asked to have a medical examination or have photos taken of your injuries.
Police may remove property to use as evidence in the trial. You will be issued with a receipt.
You may be able to use your property before the trial if you make it available to the court.
Police may ask that you stay out of areas where the offence was committed (the crime scene) so they can take photographs or fingerprints. Although this may be difficult for you, the police may find important evidence for the investigation.
You may be asked to identify the offender. This might be in a police line-up or by looking at photographs.
Police will provide you with a Notice to the Victim form, which details some of your rights.
How Police can help you with information
Notice to the Victim form (sometimes called an L1 form) will include the name of the police officer who is dealing with your case (the investigating officer). You can contact this person if you have any questions about your case, or if you have information that you think will help the police. Police can give you general information about your case, but may not give details if this could affect the investigation. If your investigating officer is unavailable, ask for the officer in charge, who will be able to help you. To understand the process of what happens after making a report or statement to the police, please click here.
Remember, you are in control and the Police are there to help not judge.
For further information about what course of action to take if you are a victim of crime or have witnessed a crime, please download the fact sheet or brochure below:
Please download the flowchart document below, which illustrates the criminal adjudication process after reporting a crime to the police.
|Helena (1977-2013)||Helena was born October 26, 1977 and from that day forward she provided love and support to all those that knew her. She was a mother, daughter, sister and friend. Helena made friends with all who knew her and achieved goals in whatever she set her sights on.
Helena was a State and National Champion in BMX, and also won State, Country and School Athletic Championships. Helena was selected in State, Australian and World BMX teams.
Helena suffered in a violent domestic relationship. I want to highlight the effects of domestic violence, help in reducing domestic violence against women and share Helena’s story and the effects of suicide on loved ones.
Helena managed a very busy life with two young children, Keely aged 6, and Brooklyn who is 8 years old. Both her children received constant support from their Mum. She absolutely adored them both, sitting with them every Friday night watching a movie that they selected, reading bed time stories and sitting with them encouraging the completion of all their school work.
Helena was married for 13 years and living with domestic violence - but was separated and was going through the final stages of divorce.
Helena was living with family pressures as well as domestic violence, when she visited a counselor seeking help. Helena continued to communicate with her family and friends whilst assuring those close to her that she was working through her issues.
In the months leading up to her suicide Helena was under increasing pressure. However, she was strong and continued to assure her family she was all right.
The morning of her passing, Helena and I spoke of her coming days and plans. While I was speaking with her, she forwarded to me a number of text messages from her husband, who was threatening her on a number of issues.
Helena passed that day on March 7, 2013 - shattering her friends and family.
To this day it is a struggle. The pain and grief has not reduced in this time.
This love was taken from me. With your help, and the work of White Ribbon, we can reduce violence against women.
Helena’s Dad, Gary
White Ribbon Ambassador
7 Mar 2013
26 Oct 1977