On Wednesday night, I had the privilege of being involved in a fund raiser for victims and their families of domestic violence. I volunteered from 1.00am to 4.30am at Marshal Point 4 (see pic), where runners were completing a 110km course, each km signifying one life.
In Australia alone, around 110 people die as the result of a domestic violence act, and this event was about providing the support needed to victims of DV and their families, before they become one of these horrifying statistics.
Those of you who have read my previous posts will know that I was once a “victim” of domestic violence too, but not the type that you hear about in the media. I was a victim of verbal and emotional abuse. I had no visible bruises or cuts to my skin. But I was in a world of pain and I wanted to take my life, more times than I can count. But it was my need to keep my daughter safe that kept me going.
When I talk about this with others, I still feel I need to “justify” myself, because this abuse did not leave me a single visible bruise or cut to the skin. What it did leave me with however, were many very painful emotional scars, most of which I can thankfully say, do not bother me anymore.
In the UK, this type of abuse is now being recognised as a serious crime, and people are being sentenced to time in prison for this crime – this is very good news.
Everywhere else however, there is still not enough being told about this type of abuse (as well as financial abuse – more on this another time), and as a result, many, many victims don’t feel they can speak out or seek help. This is because they don’t believe the abuse is “serious enough”. They have no cuts or bruises on their skin, so how can they justify asking for help?
The reason for my post today is to help to bring some awareness to this seemingly “hidden” type of abuse, and to let you know that if you have a partner or family member who calls you names, manipulates or controls you, controls your finances, or anything like this, it is important that you speak out. Please, speak to somebody today about this – it could be the difference between living in misery and finally feeling happy again. xx