Many years ago, I had an abusive boyfriend. He wasn't always abusive, it happened gradually. He went from being caring and attentive, to a possessive, mean, violent drunk. I was slapped, hit and verbally abused on many occassions. Sometimes he would break my possessions too. There were worse incidents, like the time he tried to smash a glass in my face. I wasn't allowed to see friends without his permission, and if I was allowed out he would often follow me and turn up drunk to cause trouble.
I was lucky I suppose, the violence I suffered was fairly minimal. I was good at recognising the signs that he was about to lose it, at which point I would often go home (if he let me), as I still lived with my parents. I was lucky to have somewhere to get away from him. There were lots of incidents. He was always drunk when it happened, and always begged forgiveness. I was young and niave and went along with it, too scared to leave him. Eventually I worked up the courage to split up with him with the support of my friends. If it hadn't been for them, I don't know what might have happened. I honestly believe without help and support it would have continued...I hate to think how it would have ended.
Not everyone is a s lucky as me though. Many people have nowhere to go, no one to tell, no one to help them. More often than not, they are too scared to tell someone. I know I was for a while.
No one should suffer in silence. No one should have to be hurt, alone and scared.
Refuge can help. Refuge offer a wide range of services to women and children facing domestic violence. These include:
- A National Domestic Violence Helpline
- A network of refuges across the country
- Outreach services
- Independent Legal Advocacy
- Culturally specific services
What can we do to help?
Refuge have launched a thought provoking campaign to raise awareness and encourage women to reach out to get help and support. This is the campaign video, please watch it.