Isolation inflicted by a perpetrator in a home paralysed by domestic violence can make it almost impossible for the victim to leave.
Kelley Latta sees a lot of intimate partner violence in the stories of sexual assault victims who approach Albury Community Health for help.
"Speaking to these women there's always the common themes around control, coercion, isolation," she said.
"Someone who doesn't understand the detail of the coercion and that control might say 'well, why don't they just stay at a mate's house?'.
"But if someone's in a domestic violence relationship and the perpetrator is doing it well, they will make sure that there's a level of isolation."
That especially involved cutting-off the victim's contact with friends and family.
Albury Community Health provides a sexual assault service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It also has a child protection counsellor who, on a voluntary basis, assists families involved with either Child Protection or the Department of Family and Community Services.
This gives Ms Latta, the counselling services co-ordinator, a sharp insight into the impact of domestic and family violence, which it does not specifically target.
"There are huge gaps, particularly on the NSW side that are really evident," she said of the key challenges facing efforts to tackle violence in the region.
- Emergency: 000
- DV Hotline: 1800 656 463
- Safe Steps: 1800 015 188
- Betty's Place Women's Refuge: 02 6058 6200 or 1900 885 355
- DV counselling: 1800 737 732
- Kids' Helpine: 1800 789 978
- MensLine: 1300 789 978
Ms Latta said there also needed to be awareness of the simple fact that children were just as much a victim of such behaviours.
"Children who are living in vulnerable communities or in homes that are violent, aren't safe, and who aren't sleeping - they will quite often be experiencing trauma symptoms," she said.
"My perspective here with our counselling services, but also with Albury Wodonga Health, is we are definitely doing work and educating and trying to provide the best support for people who are experiencing violence."
Ms Latta said staff were trained to recognise this in presentations to hospital, which meant they could respond and have a conversation "to ensure that they're both safe but also being linked in to the puzzle of that service sector".
The concern though was that even in trying to provide that safety net, the cycle of violence continued from one generation to the next.
"And in saying that, I've been in social work for 16 or 17 years and I haven't met a parent who doesn't want the very best for their kid and doesn't love their kid," she said.
"But when you don't have a choice and you're completely powerless, how do you achieve that for your child?
"Sometimes, keeping people alive and safe is the best that they can do and that's what they're doing."
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