“I DO NOT want to be the mum who hits her children.”
This is a domestic violence survivor’s story.
It is intended to highlight that by asking for help it can transform lives for the better.
Names have not been used for protection of the victims.
None of us gets to choose the situation we are born into, and should it be a violent, dysfunctional one it all too often pre-disposes to history repeating.
This happened to one young woman when her partner echoed the frightening experiences of her childhood.
It eventually left her completely at rock bottom and with no family or support to turn to.
At her lowest point, that young woman realised for anything to change she had to experience a final indignation – to let go of her pride.
The very survival of her young family depended on it.
She sought help with Anglicare and credits it with bringing not just herself, but her children, back from the brink.
She had not seen the signs.
“When I first met my partner everything was fine, the problems didn’t begin until after the children were born,” she said.
“I never had any role models; not seeing healthy relationships, it’s hard to know what those relationships look like.”
Seeking help changed something she was desperate to avoid.
“My kids have seen domestic violence and I was so worried I really did not want that for them,” she said.
“Enough was enough; it was a call for help for my children.”
Her life has not only stabilised but is set to improve because she reached out.
“We have a home which we love and now I have the time for my kids,” she said.
“I have been taking them to the library, sporting events and any other school activities.
“It’s like a 180-degree turn to where we were. We had nothing, absolutely nothing.
“I remember having just bread or Weet-bix to eat because I felt too ashamed to go and ask for a food hamper.”
She said she can now enjoy her children and has built solid foundations for her family.
“I have gone back to study and I am due to finish my course this year,’ she said.
“We are all calmer and happier.
“I’m glad that I recognised I needed to make a different choice.
“I’m not going to be the mum hitting her children”
She said support is out there and had this to say to those in a similar situation.
“It’s tough – but if you need help go seek it. There will be help out there for your family,” she said.
Anglicare’s Young Hearts in funding crisis
ANGLICARE WA runs Young Hearts, a free domestic violence counselling service for children that has been severely limited due to a lack of funding.
The in-demand service is for children up to 18 years of age and is recommended by The Family Court of WA, the Department for Child Protection, WA Police, schools, hospitals and community organisations.
It is dedicated to breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence by reaching out to children before they too inflict violence on others.
It puts vulnerable young people first, helping them build healthy relationships and develop skills to thrive in the future.
At a crisis point since the Mandurah office was forced to close last year and the Rockingham office closed to a part-time, the organisation is in dire need of financial help.
Waiting lists for an appointment are now more than six months.
Court orders from the Family Court of WA to attend Young Hearts have been adversely affected by the long waiting list.
A major fundraiser, Angels Rising – Dinner in the Cathedral is on November 10 has been organised for the service.
It is an all-inclusive three-course dinner with Executive Chef Chris Taylor, specially selected beverages from Gage Roads and Ferngrove.
It promises to be an unforgettable night of entertainment in an extraordinary location, including a sublime youth choir, live music and stunning dance-floor, and quite a few surprises only revealed on the night.
To learn more, including viewing a video visit angelsrising.org.au.
Without this funding, Young Hearts is in danger of closing.
Angels Rising – Dinner in the Cathedral
Friday 10 November 2017
7pm – midnight
St George’s Cathedral, 38 St Georges Terrace, Perth