Call 1800 RESPECT

This is Christine’s Story ♥️

“I wanted to tell my story to help others”. Domestic violence survivor Christine.

Christine hopes her story will help others understand how violence can ruin lives ♥️

I couldn’t be a victim … or could I?

christine-the-red-heart-campaignI used to look at women domestic violent victims and think why don’t they just leave? That is until I became one of those victims.

At first I thought it was me and that it was just a normal relationship with problems my until family and friends kept on saying don’t let him treat you like this.

I guess I used to think he would change but he never did – if anything it got worse as time went by.

Until you are put in that situation yourself people really don’t understand how bad it gets. Police told me verbal and mental abuse is bad as it never leaves you. I am now finding that to be true.

He was a charmer with a major problem…

When we first met he was loving and caring. He was a drinker, which I did not think much of at the time but as the years passed I realised this was the major problem. I would see him change from nice to the most abusive nasty person like he had a split personality.

When the abuse first started I would sit and cringe in a corner and cry and he would yell more saying ‘why are you crying?’ and call me names. One time he said ‘stand-up for yourself’ plus all the horrible names, so in the end I would stand up for myself and I would yell back but I decided this made it worse.

Everything turned into a fight, constantly, everyday. M&Ms went missing one night so he picked my daughter up and threw her on the lounge and told the kids they could not use the toilet or have showers. The kids would hide under their beds, police would turn up and we would have to make out everything was OK  so we would not be in trouble.

I loved him and I thought he would change…

One time he smashed the bedroom up and the police came. Of course he had run out the door and left. the police saw my room and took me and the kids and put us in a hotel and they took an AVO out on him. I did love him and thought he would change – how wrong was I?

Holes where put in walls, things where smashed, one time he pushed me in a walking robe and put a door on top of me and then jumped on me all because of a mobile phone. The next day I could hardly walk and had bruises all over me so I wore a singlet. He asked why and I said ‘to show everyone what you did to me’.

He would say an ‘AVO won’t do anything – it is only a piece of paper. by the time the police get here you won’t be breathing’. I was not allowed out with friends because he thought i was cheating. He would even accuse me of cheating when I was at work. I went to my Dad’s 80th birthday in Tasmania and he rang and abused me and told me I was cheating on him. He would go to the pub and get drunk and blow his money on the pokies, then I would cop it. He would get home yelling abuse, saying  that it was all my fault.  He never took the blame for anything – it was always my fault or the kids.

 He put a knife to my stomach once. I was that terrified I could not even speak.  I might not have been hit, his abuse was more verbal and mental, but I have trust issues now. I don’t believe people when they compliment me because he always put me down and said ‘you are fat and ugly and have three kids. no one will ever want you’. The police came to our place on several  occasions because the neighbours would ring and report domestic violence, but he would always leave. He had a few punch ups with my eldest boy and hit him across the arm with a crow bar.

I hope my story inspires others to reach out before it is to late…

I have blamed myself for all of this for years and what my children have been through. I am lucky my children have turned out to be amazing and they are very protective of me now.  I wanted to tell my story to help others – mine might not be as bad as a lot of other women, but the mental and verbal abuse is terrible. This went on for 15 years until last year when I thought ‘no more’. I couldn’t live like this anymore – I was so unhappy all the time.

If you are in domestic violence crisis help is available from the Australia-wide telephone hotline 1800RESPECT. If you want to take part in the “Why I Stayed” project click here ♥️♥️♥️

Photograph by Sherele Moody © 2016.