Hi I am Cheri I am 45 years old and I have 5 children and I would like to share my story about my personal experience with domestic violence and bring awareness to this issue.
My experience with domestic violence started for me 8 years ago when I met my ex-partner I thought I had found the one for me he seemed so loving caring, attentive, protective he was always there he become my best friend. I really started to trust him and fell hard quickly but as our relationship went on the cracks started to show and he started to become verbally abusive but after every bad fight I was always looking for ways to make it better, before I knew it I was isolated from my family, my children and living in another state.
I followed this man everywhere and next thing you know I was moving states again so he could follow his dreams! Which he would end up ruining, he would ruin everything including us and me, we were staying with a friend in QLD and after my friend’s birthday he became physically violent and it wasn’t the first time but was the worst time! I was sure he was going to take my life and if it wasn’t for my friends hearing what was going on in that room I wouldn’t be writing this blog today. Cops got called, he got arrested a VRO was taken out by the cops, they take it out for the victim over in QLD.
The next day, I had to tell my family which made me feel so ashamed but I needed their help. Within two weeks I was back in W.A and not long after I found out I was pregnant, so I let him back in for the sake of our son but he continued to be violent even while I was pregnant and having to call cops again but silly me didn’t finalise that VRO because I wanted him at the birth but had to end up taking another VRO out anyway when my son was 7 weeks old, which he breached multiple times and each time just receiving a fine.
He also completed a violent male program called ‘breathing space’ he was their star pupil even featuring on Channel 7 Sunrise in 2016!
BUT let us forward to now four years later, he now has exposed my son to terrible violence when he got in a fight with my son’s uncle at his parents where they are meant to supervising my son and he got hit in the crossfire! So I completely stopped access and we now on our second VRO which he breached 7 times last year & spent 6 weeks in remand but sentenced to 9 months suspended sentence and then breached it again 14 times in February this year.
He got sentenced to 9 months but is eligible for parole on the 23 of June 2019! This scares me and I am worried for my safety and for my sons. I know when he gets out he will be after payback because he can never take accountability, so we go through the same circle again he will start harassing me again breach my VRO, go to court, short stay in prison, get out and so the circle continues!
I just always wonder when is it all going to stop when will he leave us alone? For years now I have lived in fear of this man and always looking over my shoulder this is my reality but it’s not just my reality this is the reality of many women around Australia!
Two women a week die in this country by the hand of a current partner or ex-partner that is 2 women too many! It’s up to us as a community to change it, to change our attitudes to this issue’s because if we all just pretend this isn’t happening in our own back yard nothing will ever change and women like me will continue to lose their lives and just become another statistic of domestic violence.
We need better education, tougher sentencing for repeat offenders, more protection and services for victims.
I myself am very fortunate to have the support from all the beautiful women at the Lucy Saw Women’s shelter and there are so many great shelters out there. They are so stretched to their limits but do such great work they need heaps of support too.
As for me, my story hasn’t ended yet and I will continue to take day by day and do whatever I can to keep me and my son safe and continue to be a voice to spread awareness to this issue!!!
Thankyou so much for taking the time to read my article! Spread the word!!