Today I taught a trial session that left me sharing a little too much than I would like to share. It started off as a regular trial session, squeals of laughter and all the things I’d normal expect at a session. Everyone was having the time of their lives until one of the ladies who’d decided to join decided she might not join because her boyfriend wouldn’t like it. I started to talk to her about her relationship and she shared with me the current situation she is in with her boyfriend.
As she started to share more and more I could clearly see the similarities to the situation I went through 8 years ago. I could also see that she was just about to go blindly into the same situation just I had around 8 years ago. She told me her boyfriend he is a really loving and protective person, so protective in fact that he was also very controlling. She said he was only controlling because he simply loved her so much.
I found myself sharing my story and the dark details of just how bad it was. These are details I don’t like to share. I don’t like to share these details because I see this as another life and almost another person. I could see she was just about to end up in the same exact same situation I was in and I could see that she had no idea why lie ahead of her and just how deep she could end up.
I wanted so desperate to take her under my wing and protect her from the situation she was heading into. I shared with her just how severe things got for me. I shared too much but I knew that I’d rather walk away feeling that I shared too much for the off chance that I could prevent her from ending up in the very same situation.
I wanted her to understand the cycle of domestic abuse. Tension building as the abuse starts, to the battering phase where tension hits its peak and the violence begins. Followed by the honeymoon phase, the stage of remorse where the abuser genuinely attempts to convince the victim that the abuse will happen again. I lived through each stage of this cycle more times that I choose to remember.
I explained how abusers will isolate the victim from all support networks and the threat that the abuser holds over the victim. I asked her friend to look after her and explained that victims rarely share what is going on even with those closest around them for wanting to protect the abuser.
I explained the reason Studio Exclusive exists today is simply to build a support community just for women. When I left the relationship I was in I escaped with nothing more than the clothes on my back. I started to rebuild with a new sense of freedom and I knew I had to build the community that supported me for others. I felt a clear calling in life to build this for others. I wanted to give back for the support I had received.
I chose to write this to share my story with others, I feel that it is time to be completely honest and to share with others knowing that sharing your story may prevent someone else from ending up in the exact same situation. I want everyone to be aware of what is going on out there. I want ever women to keep an eye out for her girlfriends, her neighbors, her work colleagues and her best friends. How can you know if you ever end up in this situation yourself? Ask yourself these simple questions…
Do you feel fearful of your partner?
Do you avoid certain topics for fear of your partner getting angry?
Does your partner humiliate you, criticize you or put you down?
Does your partner treat you in a way that you are embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
If you answer yes to any of these I urge you to share this information with those around you. I ask you to not keep this information to yourself.
The numbers below show the number of victims of family and domestic violence-related assault from selected states and are terrifying.
New South Wales – 28,780 victims;
South Australia – 5,691 victims;
Western Australia – 14,603 victims;
Northern Territory – 4,287 victims; and
Australian Capital Territory – 615 victims.
It is time for us to stand up and to lead change. To support those who need it the most and to reach out if you are someone that needs help. I pray that if you are reading this and you are yourself in a situation that you please reach out to those around you, to the domestic violence support or please reach out to me. Together we can create change for the domestic abuse in Australian.
Posted by Peta Howlett, 12th October 2015