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Domestic violence is much more than physical abuse

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Imagine you are a photographer and you’ve been asked to provide a shot for an article on domestic and family violence (DFV). What imagery comes to mind?

Have you pictured a woman cowering in a corner, or a close up of a man’s clenched fist? Perhaps a woman with her hands outstretched protecting her face? If these are the sorts of images that come to mind for you, then you’ve already been influenced by the way DFV is portrayed in the media.

Much of the reporting on DFV feeds the perception that domestic violence is first and foremost the perpetration of physical violence. And while it is a sad fact that physical abuse is the reality for some women, putting such a strong and consistent emphasis on the physical aspect of abuse is dangerous. This not only detracts from the reality that so many women are living with, it ignores the fact that physical violence is most often the last form of abuse that victims are exposed to.

For victims, this type of reporting sends subliminal messages that, unless you’re being hit, what’s........

© WA Today