(Perth, Western Australia, Australia, )
I am a victim of domestic violence and this is my story.
I was 22 when we started dating, at first he seemed so charming, smart, funny, adventurous and caring. At the start of the relationship never would I have ever thought that it would turn violent. Never would I have thought that this man would hurt me.
We both drank a lot, and the first time was an alcohol fuelled night, I was upset and told him about it, but it ended when I was pushed up against a car being yelled at, abused and violently grabbed whilst people watched. He was pulled off me and I then had a panic attack. The next day it was like nothing happened... It wasn't spoken about and when I tried to talk about it I got shut down and got told it was my own fault and that was the end of it. The outburst of anger continued, although not too often and it always seemed to be alcohol fuelled.
Things then changed and the anger became more frequent. He would get frustrated at little things and as a way of hurting me or "getting through" to me he would hurt me in small ways, like grab my finger and bend it back, we would have arguments whilst I was driving where he grabbed the steering wheel or would cause me to nearly have an accident. Things continued to get worse, I constantly questioned why I was staying with him. I was told I couldn't do certain things or have certain types of social media, it never went down well when I told him I was not getting rid of my social media. He would abuse me while I was driving, telling me I was a bad driver. It seemed that everything I did I could not do right. I was always wrong and useless. I was blackmailed, used for money, called names, told I was ugly and fat. We would have huge arguments when he would call me a “cunt”. I would tell him he can’t call me that… he continued to say “well you are one” or “maybe if you didn’t do this I wouldn’t”. I tried to tell him it didn’t matter what I did, he had no right to call me names. We need to discuss things like adults. But no, it was my own fault. I was constantly told he could do better than me, I felt worthless.
Things gradually got worse and there were many more incidents. In these outbursts I was spat on in front of my parents, scratched, pushed and even ended up with blood noses. One time was so bad, his own friends had to step in and pull him off me. He was drunk, took off in my car and returned it with a broken driver’s side door. I messaged my friend, “there’s blood on the wall and the carpet….my blood”. I would try to record the arguments and incidents to play it for him the next day, in hope he would understand how bad it was. He refused to listen and would grab me and force my phone out of my hands to delete it.
Every time these violent incidents occurred, he was sorry (even though it was my own fault) and it wouldn't happen again, things would just go back to normal like nothing happened. When I did try to talk about the issues we were having he would just snap and get even angrier. It was always my fault and there was always an excuse "well if you didn't do this if wouldn't have happened". The next day I felt numb, and disgusted in him and in myself. Why was I still here? Why am I staying around? Why? Because he SAYS he loves me. I was silly I was naive and I was scared. I would have never admitted what was happening and would never admit that it was solely his fault, I only got out because it was witnessed.
In the last week we were together, there were two incidents in the space of 4 days. He tried to start a fight in a bar (drunk of course), we left. He crashed my car into a ditch and nearly killed us speeding and driving recklessly home, before pushing me into the bitumen. He did not have a licence. Then was the last time…… I wanted to go home. He didn’t. He was grabbing me, yelling at me, abusing me. This was all in front of children playing on a playground. We got to the car and that’s when things went really bad. He dragged me from the driver’s side of the car, over the handbrake to the other side of the car. He forced me out of the car, forced my phone out of my hand and stole it. Everything happened so quickly. At this point there was nothing I could do, his force was too strong. I sat on the kerb holding my jaw. I don’t know how it happened but somehow my jaw was nearly dislocated. The children saw everything, and ran to their parents and told them. A group then came over to help me. One lady picked me up off the kerb sat me down and gave me ice. Another man checked over my jaw. I had scratches on my chest and was bleeding. He took off in my car. Long story short that was the end of it. Luckily my car got home safely, however I never got my phone back. It was over. It was easy for a long time and still to this day it’s hard to realise I allowed myself to go through that, but it’s over. Thank god. And I could not have done it without Jess Watkinson, Kym Sher, the help of Phil Rigg and importantly my family and friends. It’s not great knowing your sisters had to clean out your car full of blood.
Knowing my sisters had seen that I knew I couldn’t stay. How could I make them think that this was ok?
It’s not, it never is and never will be. No matter what.