Never Alone….

Home? When i hear the word home, I think of bedrooms, a kitchen, a laundry, a backyard with a big play space, a pool, which I was fortunate enough to, have growing up and somewhere to sleep like everyone else I know. Home can be defined as many things however one saying which will always stay with me is ‘’Home is where the heart is’’ and that truly in itself is all you need when you walk through the front door, which is a loving and safe environment to stay at each and every day.

Fast-forward 15 years, from since I was 5 years old and in the midst of kindergarten. When I think of what home means today it is much more than just the little things of playing and having a good time when I was a young child or whether or not my family will have food, clothing, shelter and all the essentials but most importantly love and protection from the family members I share the home with as we all need to be able to come home to a safe home everyday, however in this day and age unfortunately for some this is not even known to them and many question what is family or what does it mean to love someone?

Sure when I was growing up I had everything a child could want and more, however looking back now I see I had it far way better than most people and still continue to even at my young adult age of 20, where I have a granny flat built out the back for me, water and electricity but what I have that many don’t is a loving family who accepts me for who I am and nothing else matters.

Domestic and family violence is when violence is acted upon, typically within the environment of the home, and can go from bad to worse very quickly. There are many types of domestic and family violence such as Physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and financial. Lets face it you hear many stories plastered all over social media, the TV, news and various other ways daily but never do you think it will happen to you because you live in this ‘’perfect little world’’, well let me tell you something now, it is merely impossible for anybody to live a fantasy and in a perfect world as it just never happens and especially within todays society in which Australia faces whereby most deaths of any age are due to domestic violence.

If you still aren’t convinced enough yet, then you are about to be.
While stereotypically it is often the case that males are the perpetrators, statistics show there are also a number of women being the perpetrators of domestic violence assaults towards males. This is evident, as shown in the graph below; While 30% may seem very little to you, as opposed to the much larger number of 70%, the fact is that it shouldn’t be happening to anyone at all.

It is also a known fact that a staggering 62 woman were reported to have died In 2015 alone, and that was just up to September as a result of domestic violence, which equates to almost 2 woman a week. Domestic violence in Australia is the leading cause of death among woman, men, boys and girls and it is about time something is done to stop innocent life’s being lost, as whatever measures in place currently are not doing their job efficiently and is evidently seen in research. On average 2 woman die a week, due to domestic violence in Australia.

I have worked in the retail industry for the past five years since I was 15 years old and believe me I am no expert when it comes to dealing with domestic violence as I am not a professional of that expertise but I do know what domestic violence behaviour looks like when I see it first hand, whether it be the small little things such as yelling at your children or partner when in a public place, dragging or hitting them in a public place and even to the point where both people are fighting and using inappropriate language within a public environment and is even worse when their children is right In the middle or has formed part of their dispute.

All of these behaviours are things I see present in families and couples whilst out in a public space, I have no doubt in which these follow though within the home environment too and is almost often treated like a daily routine and one which becomes part of the home in which they live in which is the sad truth and reality of many victims involved in domestic violence within Australia today.

My best friend Tanya Cleland, a former victim of domestic violence who has now seen the light at the end of the tunnel after a long battle was bashed, abused and threatened by her own father for many years up until about 2 years ago now. One thing she said to me was ‘’ Once you are a victim, no matter what the person says or does to make you feel better, it will still continue to happen and you will often feel too scared to get help so you let them get away with it and keep hurting you’’. As you can see from that there is always a way out but you have to trust yourself and get the help needed before it becomes too late.

The rates of domestic and family violence in Australia are significantly high, whereby I believe not enough is being done and more and more people are losing their lives at the hands of others and in no control to stop it. Growing up like I said earlier I was fortunate to be apart of a fun loving family with seven siblings and there was never a time where I felt unsafe around anyone that was close to me. If you stop and think, even just for 5 minutes on the idea of those key words I’ve mentioned, family, love & Home then you will too like myself appreciate and see that these three words have a much deeper understanding to them when put into perspective of others who may not have that.

Watch this and then have a think how you feel afterwards?

If you’re wondering why I keep mentioning the word home, have a think why that may be? Due to domestic violence, this leaves many people man or woman without a safe home, or place to stay in which many in some cases find themselves elsewhere to try and get away from their pain.
There are many ways in which we can help those suffering from domestic violence. This could be by donating money to local charities that support domestic violence, having better programs in place for the people who commit the violence to help get their life back on track and simply by spreading the word and raising awareness everywhere that it is simply not okay to abuse or harm someone in which they fear for their life and welfare.

Did you know! A lot of domestic violence incidents go unreported and this is mainly due to the lack of courage and self-doubt.

Don’t just let those who hurt you win, take control and fight for your way out. There is always help, you just have to be the one who asks for it! Don’t be afraid, you are among thousands who are in the same position as you. To get behind and support those who need it most follow the #FindYourStrength to learn more and hopefully put a stop to violence among Australians today.

ALWAYS REMEMBER! YOU ARE NEVER ALONE

For more facts visit:
1. http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/pages/domestic-violence- statistics.php
2. https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/march/1425128400/jess- hill/home-truths

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