Changing together positively and preventing violence

We meet, we agree to tie the knot and spend our life together with our partner and then we ask ourselves, what went wrong? Why are we not happy together? As a couple we choose to be committed to each other and create a map of our life journey. We share our visions, thoughts, passions, and beliefs, concept of support, trust, friendship, love and conflict with our life partner. The objective of this article is a message for the benefit of the Indian community in Australia – ‘The right to feel safe, prevents violence, and reaches out for professional support.”

We want to relate to each other positively; however differences of opinions give rise to issues, and at times, an accumulation of unresolved issues manifests into a distasteful incident and subsequently traumatic events of life. I often hear from couples that the ‘ newly weds’ do not get an opportunity to understand, or bond with each other due to the overwhelming pressures of being in a new land or inappropriate interference from external sources be it extended family members from overseas. This lack of opportunity may potentially create misunderstanding among a couple who yet have to get to know each other. However an understanding of the ‘self’ and taking responsibility for one’s behavior enables a reflective approach as opposed to a reactive one that may be detrimental to the relationship. The important question is would difference of opinion or conflict among the couple manifest into an enormous issue if the couple had the ability/skills to resolve their difference? Development of mutual understanding among the couple’s takes time and the intent to a committed relationship require nurturing and affection free of any form of abuse and violence. The need to want to establish a relationship, free of abuse and violence requires a commitment from each individual. There is always something about our thought process that may not be helpful and we need to ‘let go’ off and something that we can ‘relearn’ that would benefit the blossoming of our relationship.

As a community we are not stagnant we have evolved, adapted as we embrace and recognize the continuities of life course. At the same time as individual we are a product of our environment and more so of the broad socio- political and economic trends that impinge on our family life. We cope with the daily stressors of life to name a few such as daily hectic routine, parenting styles; work pressures financial issues, extended family matters. And this is many times compounded in a foreign land by loss of networks or family support. However ‘abuse’ or ‘violence’ is not an answer to resolving any conflict or difference of opinion. In my previous articles I have provided comprehensive definition and types of ‘Family Violence and ‘Abuse,’ I have also emphasized that violence is a crime.

Change is inevitable and all things are subject to change and we change with them as individuals, and so does our relationship. However this change does not necessarily have to threaten our relationship. We as individuals learn to cope with ‘change,’ however changes in our relationship require us to be equipped with new strategies, skills and negotiation. Seeking timely assistance and support from qualified professional can prevent unpleasant events of life such as abuse, violence and breakdown of relationships. For the benefit of the community I list below a few services that are available in all regions to support families and relationships.

Services for Prevention – Counselling for Couple and Family

• Indian Family Relationship Services – Culturally sensitive services ( Hindi, Punjabi) website: CounsellingIndains ( 0425 367 617)
• Local Community Health Family Support Services
• Local Council – Family Support Services
• Relationship Australia – 1300 735 030
• Life Line – 13 11 14
• Bouverie Family Therapy Centre

By Muktesh Chibber

(The writer is currently a couple and family therapist and a family law mediator. She has 25 year experience having worked in Australia with families. She has managed a statewide family Violence services, North West Region- Family Relationship Services for migrant communities (Federal government initiative) has training professional overseas in family violence sector)