Abuse victims to ‘stars’

Angela Ryder speaks with ‘Donna’ and Aboriginal resource worker Janelle Jilba.
Angela Ryder speaks with ‘Donna’ and Aboriginal resource worker Janelle Jilba.

‘He was always very jealous and controlling, but it got worse when I was pregnant,’ she said.

For three years, Donna (not her real name) endured physical and emotional abuse. While at times her partner appeared nice. for the most part his possessive nature and irrational behaviour took control.

‘Eventually, he stopped me from seeing my family and friends. I didn’t see them for about a year-and-a-half,’ she said.

Despite the isolation and almost daily arguments, which sometimes escalated into violence, Donna held on to a faint hope that things might get better.

They became worse.

When Donna managed to pick up some work, her partner had to be outside to drop her off and pick her up, and would constantly call to make sure she was at work.

‘I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone and I was locked up in my room,’ she said.

When a particularly bad argument erupted one night she threatened to leave, but that only prompted her partner to go to the extreme measure of boarding up the doors. Whenever they did go out of the house, a public presence still did not deter him from lashing out.

Eventually, things reached breaking point. One night, it became so bad that Donna began to fear for her life.

‘I waited until he was asleep and then I left’