I called refuge every Christmas for about five years. This was a time I felt the most isolated and violated. Sadly I experienced a terrible beating and when he said, 'get out of my house' I used that as my perfect excuse to escape. I have never looked back.
I held my breath. I said to my mate, Kerry, I have a feeling that you aren't feeling safe in your relationship, can you talk to me about it? She brushed me off the first few times, but using different approaches and trusting in my feelings she did eventually open up to me. I was determined to be there for her. I supported her through the decisions she made to be safe. And now she and her kids are living a fabulous life, free of shame, blame and violence.
She came up to me at a party one day. Apparently many years ago I had talked to her at a conference over a cuppa, and she’d shared her story of the violence her husband was subjecting her to. The advice I gave her then was, 'You're too good for this and you don't need to put up with it.’ The woman took three years to eventually leave her relationship, but she kept repeating these words to herself until she finally called Women’s Refuge. Her ex-partner went on to kill his next girlfriend.
The Domestic Violence Act 1995 states in Part 1, Section 3 that violence can be physical, sexual, emotional or psychological. Domestic violence can also include financial or economic and/or spiritual abuse.
It’s a known fact that children who live in a home where there is violence are significantly more at risk of being the victims of physical, sexual and psychological abuse and neglect than other children.read more