Jennifer’s story shows the truly complex nature of family violence. Harm and abuse is not always physical.
My partner had a bit of a ‘spin out’, shall we say. He got angry. Not physically, but verbally. Things escalated, and he actually phoned the police... on me!
When the police followed up, it was clear to them he was going through some issues. They wanted to make sure I was OK, so my case was referred to Victim Support and a Support Worker got in touch. This wasn’t the first time he had had issues, but it was the first time I received support.
It’s been a year since then. In the time I’ve been supported by my Support Worker, the change in him has been quite phenomenal. We put boundaries in place for the first time. I helped me and in doing so it helped him and our relationship too.
We stayed together for about eight months but then recently decided it was best for us both to separate. With my Support Worker, we spent so much time talking on the phone. In the very beginning I remember balling my eyes out some of the time and she was just amazing. I had heaps of questions about everything.
"I’m now thinking about becoming a Victim Support volunteer after what I’ve been through. I’d love to support others in a similar boat."
In the past all his pain and everything he would put it on to me. He’s from an abusive background, right back to when he was a kid. I learnt that whatever came out his mouth was about him, not me. I didn’t know that in the beginning.
My self-esteem came back. The help we received from Victim Support meant that our relationship ended in such a safe and mutual way. My Support Worker has just been amazing, so amazing.
I’m so grateful. She gave me ideas that I hadn’t thought about, ways to put in boundaries and look after myself in the relationship. One time she actually got a food parcel arranged for me when I had no money.
Don’t get me wrong it’s still tough but life has dramatically improved. My advice to victims would be to ask for help. Tell someone. While my case wasn’t as serious as some, the impact it’s had on my life has been very challenging. Some women stay in abusive relationships because they’re too scared to get out of them. It’s never black and white. I want them to know they can get out but sometimes it just takes a bit of support to get there.
I’m now thinking about becoming a Victim Support volunteer after what I’ve been through. I’d love to support others in a similar boat.
Though we have changed Jennifer’s name to protect her identity, this is her true story. Victim Support thanks Jennifer for sharing her life changing experience with us.
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