Lisa Harnum Foundation Launches Verbal Abuse Awareness TV Campaign

15 second television commercial raises awareness of the seriousness of verbal abuse


February 9, 2015

The Lisa Harnum Foundation founder, Aileen Mountifield says,

There is a strong misconception that domestic violence equates only to physical assault. In fact domestic violence describes a whole pattern of relationship where one person attempts to gain power and control over their partner using a range of tactics; physical abuse is just one tactic”.

Other tactics an abuser uses to control are:

  • verbal and emotional abuse (name-calling, belittling, false accusation, rage, manipulation)
  • social abuse (trying to isolate from family and friends, monitoring, making partner account for their time, possessiveness)
  • financial abuse (controlling the finances, making partner account for every cent they spend)
  • spiritual abuse (ridiculing spiritual beliefs or using religious doctrine to control)
  • psychological abuse (re-writing history, denying they have said things, crazy-making)
  • sexual abuse (demanding sex, rape, sexual assault, making partner feel guilty if they say no, manipulating partner to do unwanted sexual acts)
  • physical abuse (punching, slapping, murdering, breaking objects, harming pets, standing over, punching walls, making threats of physical harm).

As you can see, physical abuse is just one tactic. A sophisticated abuser may never lay a finger on their partner and yet use every other tactic to control them,” says Aileen, “And this is a very destructive and dangerous situation because the abuse is then harder to prove and the victim may not be believed if she or he has no bruises or broken limbs to show.”

The ad was written by Lisa Harnum Foundation Board Member and Domestic Violence Counsellor, Deborah Sanasi BA(Psy)/MA(Couns)

Says Deborah,

I may have technically written this ad, but actually it was written by every client I have counselled who is in an abusive relationship. Time and time again I have people say to me that the words are the worst; that bruises fade but the abusive words spoken to them cut deeply and destroy self-esteem.”

Continues Deborah,

I have many high-functioning, successful clients who – after a few years in emotional abuse are mere shells of their former selves, struggling with depression; wondering what happened to their confidence and asking, ‘how did I end up here?”

Says Aileen,

It is bittersweet that Rosie Batty holds the title of Australian of the Year in 2015, because Domestic Violence just needs to stop. The stats are WAY too high. One woman murdered every week! One in three women in Australia abused by her intimate partner! Men being victimised as well. It’s an epidemic and it needs to stop.”

The TV Commercial has been picked up by all the major networks

The TV Commercial has been picked up by all the major networks and will be on air from week commencing February 9, 2015.

Watch it here

About Lisa Harnum Foundation

The Lisa Harnum Foundation was established in 2014 by Aileen Mountifield in honour of Lisa Harnum who was thrown to her death from the balcony of her apartment in July 2011 by her fiancé in response to trying to flee the relationship.

The Foundation is a registered charity and is in the fundraising stage. The goal of the Foundation is to establish a Domestic Violence support centre for women in the Hills District of Sydney.

About Aileen Mountifield:

About Deborah Sanasi:

For interviews contact: Aileen Mountifield m: 0431 367 352, or Deborah Sanasi m: 0416 166 501

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