OPINION: Violence: life's there but spirit is gone

IT IS a distressing statistic that, on average, one Australian woman is killed every week as a result of partner violence.

A woman is most likely to be killed by her male partner in her home.

Domestic and family violence is the principle cause of homelessness for women and their children.

The average homeless person is not a stereotypical scruffy old man. It is a woman, and usually a woman with dependent children.

While it is shocking that in a civilised and progressive country like Australia this happens, what is not recorded is the number of women who are bullied and abused every single day.

The most common strategy that is used is "gaslighting".

Gaslighting is an accurate way of describing what the perpetrator of violence does. It is accurate because a gaslighter's prime motivation and ultimate goal is to shut you down: just like a gas light.

The first goal is to make you feel that you are stupid. This is done by contradicting everything you say.

If you say, "(person) told me ... " The gaslighter will cut you off with, "No they didn't".

The gaslighter will say things that you know are not true. A typical example is to say that you have been somewhere.

For example, "You have been to Bathurst".

You know that you have never been to Bathurst but the bully makes out that you are stupid because you have forgotten.

A gaslighter is not only a bully. He or she is also a weakling in the character department.

The gaslighter will criticise you but pretend that it is "giving you feedback".

"This tastes like s***", is not a criticism of your cooking. It is feedback.

These violent strategies are not newsworthy because there is no body to be disposed of.

Well, there is a body. The life is there but the spirit is gone.

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