This Podcast Exposes The Realities Of Domestic Abuse & Coercive Control In Australia

Photo by Saskia Wilson
Jess Hill
Content warning: This article discusses domestic violence in a way that may be distressing to some readers.
Domestic abuse and coercive control impact millions of Australians. These issues are understandably confronting and challenging to speak about, but that's exactly what investigative journalist Jess Hill sets out to do in her new podcast, The Trap.
The intimate 10-part series created in collaboration with the Victorian Women’s Trust (VWT), exposes the systemic factors that feed into abuse, and how it doesn't always happen 'behind closed doors', but also in workplaces, courtrooms and our highest public offices.
The See What You Made Me Do author interviews victim-survivors and perpetrators of domestic abuse, as well as police officers, whistleblowers, trauma specialists, counsellors, academics and historians. Through these deep exchanges, the podcast explores how the abuse starts, the many forms it can take, what coercive control looks like, and what victims face when they try to seek help.
Hill acknowledges that the content is "dark", but says it's also "endlessly fascinating" and relevant for Australians to hear about.
"The story of domestic abuse and coercive control in Australia is not a niche problem that happens to other people," she says in an official statement. "Every single one of us is affected by domestic abuse and violence in some way, whether it’s something we’ve witnessed or lived through, it’s affected people we love, or it’s hidden within our family histories.
"To truly change society, we need to understand how abuse, coercion and
control play out in private and public life, and how we can play a part in changing this: both in our systems, and ourselves."
The first two episodes dropped on Thursday, August 5, with several guests including social workers from the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service in episode one, and Teach Us Consent founder, Chanel Contos in the second episode.
Hill says "domestic abuse is the number one threat to people’s safety in this country", and it's not only until systems are redesigned that we can adequately change this.
“In every episode we will present not just problems, but the ways we can solve them."
The stats around domestic abuse in Australia are devastating. The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Personal Safety Survey revealed that one woman is killed by a partner every nine days, one in six women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous partner they lived with, and 25% have experienced emotional abuse.
Experts say domestic violence has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia last year. Results of a Queensland University of Technology Centre study released in June revealed an increase in demand for support from domestic family violence (DVF) agencies. The findings were based on a survey of 362 DVF agencies and individuals across Australia from early June until the end of August 2020.
Episodes of The Trap are dropping weekly and are available here or on your preferred podcast app.
If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual or domestic violence and is in need of support, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Service

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