Heartbreak over domestic violence: Innaloo victim speaks out

Lara Stunton  of Lahaus, Alastair MacGregor from Urban Journey and Mon Palmer from Slightly Garden Obsessed have organised a new garden for Sarah Kelly.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie            d444556
Lara Stunton of Lahaus, Alastair MacGregor from Urban Journey and Mon Palmer from Slightly Garden Obsessed have organised a new garden for Sarah Kelly. Picture: Andrew Ritchie         d444556

THE woman at the centre of a garden makeover says attacks on women and children have reached epic proportions in Australia.

Sarah Kelly was subject to a violent attack in 2013 at the hands of her then partner, which has left her with physical and mental scars.

In January, her former partner was sentenced to 18 months in prison over the attack.

Ms Kelly, of Innaloo, said she felt blessed to have the offer of a garden from the community.

“It would mean so much to us to have a nice shady place to sit,” she said.

Ms Kelly said she was heartbroken at the amount of attacks on women and children recently.

“All women, children and men should be safe in their own home and sadly this country is failing them,” she said.

The mother of two was punched with so much force that she lost an eye and her young son, who was five at the time, witnessed the horrific attack.

“I am now disfigured for life, I’m blind in one eye and that can never be fixed,” she said.

Ms Kelly underwent multiple treatments on her eye such as an implants and fat injections, but said it remained shrunken and deformed.

“I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and have anxiety and depression,” she said.

“I have extremely low confidence due to my appearance.”

She said the cost of treatments and legal fees had led her to downsize and move out of her former family home.

“My ex-partner is in prison so I have no child support, but I’m happy with the decision I made,” she said.

“I love the area for high school for my two boys and the proximity to beach.”

Ms Kelly said domestic violence was a gender-based crime that should not be tolerated.

“There is a male pattern of violence that outweighs females and we need to recognise this,” she said.

“It affects all ages, races, cultures, religions and genders.

“Children suffer and are witness to violence in homes.

“We need to teach our younger generations this is not the way to treat humans.”

She said respect in the home was the first step to overcome the “scourge on society” that is domestic violence.

“I won’t let my boys grow up the same way their father did,” she said.

“I will teach them violence against women not only ruins the woman’s life, but children’s and extended family’s lives, too.

“To control another human is not love, it’s a power play and a way to control and dominate.

“I hope one day we have more campaigns not just directed at victims, but at the people who commit the violence to seek help.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence contact the women’s domestic violence helpline on 9223 1188 or 1800 007 339 or the men’s helpline on 9223 1199 or 1800 000 599.