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Day 15 #16DaysOfActivism

"I left him because he is a Domestic violence offender among other things."

A perfect resume, as much as I was not interested in a relationship with Damian Ferrari and had rejected his requests to date, Damian Ferrari initiated the relationship with Coercive control. A pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation followed. Frighten me as a victim verbally and emotionally which led to physical abuse.

One of the hardest situations to escape is domestic violence. Many people ask - Why didn't she just leave? I personally have quietly thought this myself, until this relationship with 33 years in the police force Officer Damian Ferrari. Guilty of sexual and physical assault, Damian used coercive control to try and trap myself into a marital relationship. Leaving was dangerous and being located on a farm without direct support of my friends and family I was lucky to flee the property unharmed.

Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Between 2015 and 2019, 82 Victoria Police officers were charged with family violence offences. Only one officer was found guilty and no convictions were recorded.

The charges ranged from contravening family violence intervention orders to rape, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and threats to kill.

Of those 82 officers, 68 were male and 14 female. Only 10 officers went on to appear in court, with 9 out of the ten having their charges withdrawn. One was found guilty, but no conviction was recorded.

In Victoria, the average rate of a charge being proven for family and domestic violence charges are 84% – a vast difference from the 1.4% of charges proven for the police officers in this story.

Some of the officers were subjected to disciplinary actions however none were dismissed.

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