Times have changed and thank goodness for that! Today violence against women perpetrated by their partner is seen as the vicious crime that it is.
But it wasn’t always that way. When I was going through it in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I felt very alone. There didn’t seem to be anywhere for me to turn.
I turned to the police, but they were not there for me. One memory that stands out was an occasion when I was badly beaten. I had red marks on my face that would soon turn into black bruises, and so much hair had been torn from my head it sat around my neck like a scarf.
I begged the police to remove my attacker from my home. Yes, we didn’t even live together at the time. My baby was only six months old and he was threatening to run off with her too.
Instead of helping me, they helped him! I remember one of the senior policemen saying to him as they left my home, “Mate, don’t hit her anymore.” It was a token gesture that left me incredulous and terrified.
I did manage to flee shortly after that happened. In fact, it was while my attacker was on my telephone talking to a mate who was a senior policeman. Laughing at how two car loads of police had come and swarmed the house only to leave once they had spoken to his mate the copper on the phone.
I escaped through the window of my baby’s bedroom with her safely in my arms. I got to the safety of a woman’s refuge where I spent the night. only to be turfed out the next morning because my baby’s father had found where I was during the night. “It’s not safe for you or the other women here” I was informed by refuge staff. I had no other option but to go back to my home where he was waiting for me.
That was then, and for many years I resisted turning to anyone for help.
Today that would very rightly create a public outcry. Heads would roll, enquiries would begin, social media would light up with public generated fury.
You are not alone! There is help and lots of it. You need to reach out and there is a hand to hold on to, one that won’t let you down.
Here are links to a number of useful resources for people exposed to domestic abuse. Whether you are a victim, or a loved one of someone who is in an abusive relationship or situation, there are many people dedicated to helping you.
It gives me such hope when I see that the Government is doing so much to try and address the growing problem of domestic violence. Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse and indeed many DV victims/survivors will say it is often the emotional abuse that is harder. Personally I think all aspects of DV is deplorable and cowardly. However, this site does offer those suffering from DV help, and addresses all the aspects of DV including physical, verbal, emotional sexual and psychological. It also provides help for the many who are impacted financially. I only wish this sort of help was around when I needed it. Thank God establishment has caught up with the needs of those who most need are protection.
An world wide help service for both Men, Women and Children. White Ribbon is committed to raising awareness through education. It promotes the positive role men can play in helping to put an end to violence against women by shining a light on the urgent need for social change to the problem. White Ribbon conducts educational programs in schools. White Ribbon is an international effort and is in over 57 countries. Their Vision = A nation that respects women, in which every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse. The site has various help line contact details, is loaded with useful information and also ways you can support this worthwhile cause through the purchase of white ribbons, stop violence wrist bands and other products. Donations can also be made through this site.
A Queensland initiative that has been operating for over forty years. Women’s House works with women who have experienced violence of all kinds. Their site has lots of useful and valuable information including articles and stories from rape and incest victims.
A Victorian state wide resource site committed to helping Women and children to live free from violence. Safe Steps responsive service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is committed in keeping women and children safe. Their crisis support advocates are on hand to assist those in need and to help them explore their options to escape the abuse. Valuable resource full of links to helpful sites.
A Gold Coast based support centre committed to upholding the belief that structural inequalities in society serve to disadvantage women and children and can result in power differentials and violence in interpersonal relationships. With a belief that Domestic Violence is not a private matter, it is a community concern. The safety of women and children is a vital consideration should be of primary consideration at all times.
Operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Offering free, professional and non-judgemental telephone support . DV Connect Womensline receives over 8,000 calls every month from Queensland women in fear of or in immediate threat of danger from Domestic or Family violence. On average they assist over 600 women and 500 children to be safely moved every month.
Available in every state and territory for those eligible for a grant of legal assistance and legal representation.
A national support service providing you with valuable information and emergency help lines and contact services. Also includes some great forums offering a voice to a very important conversation.