For the 24 women already killed this year but more personally for my mum.
I have never really spoken about my families’ domestic violence hell but I guess that’s why domestic violence works so well it comes with a stigma and a backwards view where the victims feel ashamed.
But since the country is in the mist of the conversation let me personalise some of those statistics for you.
It all started years ago when I returned home from university and my mum had met a new man,
When I met him he did seem a bit off and my mum was being very vague about him.
Not before long stories were getting back to me about mum being knocked around,
Both my brothers were living at home still so this stressed me to no end.
I approached my older brother and demanded to know what was going on,
he confirmed all my worst fears.
I was furious, not only was he hitting mum around he also had hit my brother when he was trying to stick up for her and then add to the list threatening voicemails, text messages and being an alcoholic I had heard enough.
I went straight to mum this has to stop what are you doing?!
I would love to tell you she listened to my logical explanation and left and that was the end of it but I assume by this stage she was too far in and possibly too scared.
In the years that followed it was an emotional rollercoaster, time after time I pleaded with mum why can’t you just leave him?
Mum had become a timid, scared woman and would just make excuses.
My brother was my source of information why can’t he just leave him?
“Because Carly he said he is relentless he doesn’t stop” he explained.
Mum had in fact tried to leave him and he would always return full of alcohol and not ready to take no for an answer.
Over those years I was stressed and every time a call came in from a family member I had knots in my stomach, Is mum ok I would ask?
I remember how scared I was when my mum moved to the middle of nowhere and I went to visit her I took her for a walk and pleaded with her you can’t let him know where you live if he does something out here no one can help you she paused went to say something and quietly responded she will be ok.
See as much as I pushed my mum and tried to help she always downplayed her fear, and never openly brought it up every bit of information I got was from my brother.
She knew I was already stressed from the situation and she didn’t want to stress me more or maybe she was just scared.
So I will never know the extent of everything she has been through.
I do know that she reached out to family members to come and help her move out from that secluded house and then took him to court where he berated her and said malicious things about her in the court room she was so embarrassed and probably scared she didn’t take it further.
I do know she and my brothers became homeless and had to live in caravans on my aunties property because the landlord kicked mum out of her rental my guess is for property damage such as holes in the wall.
I also know I had enough and when I told him so he threatened me I was sick of it as a young 20 something woman I went to the police this guy is terrorising my family! They listened but told me unless my mum put out an AVO there is nothing they could do.
You think I hadn’t spoken to mum about an AVO?
Both her and my brother said it would definitely not stop him.
In fact his ex-wife put one out on him and she was hospitalised and withdrew it.
It seemed everything worked in his favour I remember discussing with my brother that he was drink driving on a suspended licence and we hoped he would get pulled over and he would finally leave us alone.
Nope, unfortunately not.
So the terror continued I withdrew from the situation at times not speaking to mum because it was all too much but as soon as I heard of an incident I wanted to be there and help
It was always above my capabilities I had pleaded with mum to come and live with me so many times but I think she was trying to protect me.
Last year my aunty offered to move in with her, finally after years I was so relieved she hated him and was going to be there to ensure nothing happened to her.
And I know mum was relieved to, I finally had piece of mind.
Then sadly my aunty died suddenly.
Amongst all the sadness was fear for mum I again offered her to come and live with me.
After everything we took a girls trip to Byron her phone would constantly ring I knew who it was she ignored it but it was in the back of our minds she had assured me she was trying to move on with her life.
Mum is defiantly trying to get on with her life away from him, and I am so proud of her and am seeing a strong self-assured women coming to the surface after years of being put on the shelf and we are closer than ever but again the fear is still there it always will be.
Which is why we need solutions to these problems, it’s a vicious cycle and seems to favour the perpetrator a cycle I have wanted to see broken for years!
Now is the time to #showmethemoney we need a safe space for women who have been through hell to be able to go to that won’t end in dire repercussions and we need it NOW, Because as the statics are going leaving it just five more days isn’t good enough.