It’s been over a year since my perpetrator left me bruised and battered. The days post that last assault were the scariest of my life. I verged on a nervous breakdown, and truly, whole heartedly feared for my life.
There was a moment during those days, while in breach of a court ordered intervention order that this person attempted to run my parents and I off the road. I doubt I will ever fully shake the nervousness of driving again, and always flinch when a black four wheel drive is approaching. It took prescriptions of sleeping pills, and valium, a supportive family, much love from friends, and prayers to get through the days and weeks that followed.
I wasn’t sure I would ever recover, and be the person I used to be. The truth is I won’t.
This person stole things from me that can never be put back together like they were before – trust, love, security, a wholeness. But these have been replaced with things I may never have, had if it wasn’t for this experience – determination, strength, resilience, and courage. I may not be the person I was before, but he will not dictate my future or steal my happiness. And I thank him for creating in me a desire to be independent, and strong. And a motivation to help those less fortunate than me, who are still stuck in family violence situations. I am a new version of myself – it has changed me, and now it is my purpose to turn those changes into something positive.
The media, and our politicians, and those in positions of power, talk often about the changes happening around domestic and family violence.
I don’t see it. The truth is it’s happening more, and more. And the repercussions and consequences for perpetrators continue to be pitiful and minimalistic. My own perpetrator walks free in another state; despite me immediately reporting the assault, many breaches of the intervention order, and the driving offences. He has access to all finances – leaving my daughter and I with not a single cent. He has paid very little child support, and there is limited ways in which he can be forced to do so.
My beautiful daughter was also present at the time of the assault.
It frightened her to the core, and seeing her hiding, crouched in the bath tub, repeating ‘are you ok? Are you ok?’ is something I will never forget, nor forgive my perpetrator for. My daughter’s speech and language has been very delayed, and I often feel that she is waiting for me to find my voice until she finds hers. We are in this life together, forever, and I walk with purpose because of her.
I share these facts, and my story, not for sympathy, but to highlight how the system still works against the victim, and for the perpetrators. I also share to shed light on the issue.
This is real and raw, and it is happening to people you know.
Since I have begun to talk about my own situation, many people I know have come to me to share their own stories. It is our nation’s dark secret – whispered about occasionally, and often shushed as it makes people feel uncomfortable. I share for other women – still suffering. I am holding you in my heart, hoping, praying, and wishing for you the respect, freedom, safety and happiness you, and your children deserve.
Lastly I share because I love our country. Our beautiful, amazing, fortunate country. We have so much to be grateful for – and yet I see a culture of gender inequality that is at the root of the problem.
The beauty of womanhood is in both her strength, and her vulnerability.
Her wisdom, and her innocence.
Her desire for love, and her search for independence.
I want to see our country change. Embrace the differences in genders, and respect and value them equally. And for no person, of either gender, to be fearful for their safety.
I want our people to be
Please share to shed light on domestic and family violence, support those still suffering, and demand justice for those harmed, and consequences for perpetrators.
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