Anyone can be a victim - What can YOU do?

Name calling, put downs, insults, intimidation, making fun of you in front of others, controlling who you talk to and be around, making you feel worthless, taking you away from friends and family, not letting you have a job, keeping money from you, controlling you, threatening you, your family or friends in a physical or non-physical way, physically harming you, sexually assaulting you, stalking you, your family or friends, yelling and screaming at you - these are all signs of domestic violence.

 

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM!

 

I was one of those women who accidentally fell into being a victim at the age of 21.  The relationship if that’s what you could call it only lasted two years but it felt like a lifetime.  It was hell on earth, I was drugged and terrified of what he would/could do to me and I had no idea how to get out or what help was available to me.

 

My journey for justice after two years of torture began when I was almost beaten to death. That was the hiding I got because I ‘stood’ up to him. I stood up to again in court and he was jailed indefinitely for multiple violence, sexual and cruelty offences. I was one of many of his victims.

 

I grew up in a safe bubble untouched by violence. My childhood was spent being loved, nurtured, going to school, playing sports, riding horses, learning to sail and travelling to exotic places with my family.

 

The man I thought I loved was 42 years old when I met him.  In the beginning he was a very nice caring and down-to-earth person. I soon found out he had a way of conning people and he put out what he wanted you to see and what he wanted you to believe.

 

Within months of meeting me he began injecting me with drugs, a trick he had picked up in jail. "Once you get her hooked on drugs, she'll never leave you," was the advice he had received. Once I was completely trapped by my own addiction, he no longer needed to hide his true colours. He began beating me regularly, dragging me from room to room by my hair, raping me while I was unconsciousness from the drugs he had given me.

 

I still until this day cannot explain how he convinced me I could not live without him. He slowly took away my friends, my family, my life. I never thought in a million years I would end up with a person like him.

 

No-one knew I was regularly raped, drugged and beaten senseless as it went on behind closed doors. Once he gained more and more control over me he started doing it front of other people.

 

Those people at the time were also to scared of him to speak up but they did the best they could for me at the time. I thank these people every day in my thoughts as I truly believe if I had stayed with him much longer I would be dead.

 

He used violence to intimidate and control people to get what he wanted, he was skilled at it and had been doing it for more than 20 years. I remember him sitting me down and putting makeup on me to hide the bruises before we went anywhere.

 

In public the fear/terror he had instilled in me kept me mute. To the public, we looked like a normal couple. I went to a women's self-esteem course and it was this that gave me the courage to stand up to him.

 

I told him it was over. He moved out, yet but began the process of sucking me back into his evil demented web. Two weeks later he gave me a massive hiding at a friend’s place. I owe my life to her as she also had the courage to stand up to him.  She stopped him beating me to death and called the police.

 

I recovered from that hiding and this is only a small snapshot of what he put me through.

 

I know it sounds horrible but I am putting it out there for all you ladies on this wonderful page to help you and let you know there is help and hope!

 

Keep an eye on your friends and family and if you see their behaviour changing don’t be afraid to ask questions, like Are you OK? Can I help you? I’m a survivor and so is my child. I’ve came along way mentally and physically since this all happened and I’m now living a life I love.

 

Anyone male (domestic violence isn’t only about women been the victim) or female, married, single, or in a relationship, different ages, races, educational backgrounds, employed, unemployed, up bringing good or bad, religion's, and cultures, can be abused.

 

Kids that are brought up in these homes/environments might not be physically harmed or hurt yet they are fully aware what goes on behind close doors and will end up with emotional and behavior problems.

 

If you are being abused, REMEMBER;

You are not alone
It is not your fault
Help is available

 

Did you know?

  • One in three women experience psychological or physical abuse from their partners in their lifetime
  • On average 14 women, six men and 10 children are killed by a member of their family every year
  • Police are called to around 200 domestic violence situations a day – that’s one every seven minutes on average
  • Police estimate only 18% of domestic violence incidents are reported
  • At least 74,785 children and young people aged under 17 were present at domestic violence situations attended by police
  • 84% of those arrested for domestic violence are men; 16% are women

These figures are just terrible.

(Statistic’s sourced from the Women’s Refuge website)

 

 

The strength, courage and determination to see justice done by the women involved in this matter was incredible. They are living proof that you don’t have to put up with been abused, belittled, beaten and treated badly by the person who is supposed to love you.
 
You don’t have to live in these situations there are people who are more than willing to help, you just have to reach out, tell someone, just ask.
- Detective Constable from within the NZ police 

 

Here are some links to help you with the next step:

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 111 and ask for the Police.
  • You can call Shine’s domestic abuse Helpline between 9am and 11pm, 7 days a week, on: 0508-744-633 Shine’s Helpline is FREE to call from any phone in New Zealand.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired, you can ring Shine's free national Helpline (0508-744-633) using the NZ Relay service. Helpline operators are trained to take calls from the NZ Relay service.
  • Women’s Refuge Phone 0800 REFUGE (733 843) or look in the White pages of the phone book for your local refuge.
  • Child, Youth and Family. Phone 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459) if you are concerned about a child or young person.
  • Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
  • Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757
  • Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
  • Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz
  • 0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
  • Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
  • Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
  • Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

 

For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812)