As Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month ends, we shift our focus to getting the support you need once you have left a domestic violence relationship.
Today we speak to a mother who is currently being supported by our Domestic and Family Violence Counselling service in North Queensland.
Martha* was in an unhealthy relationship for ten years. She had two children with her partner and said it took her a while to realise that her relationship wasn’t regular. Leaving him was something she had to think long and hard about.
“I thought what I was going through was normal, until I realised it wasn’t and I needed to leave.”
After breaking away from her violent relationship, Martha started counselling with a psychologist who helped her initially sort out how she was feeling. But it wasn’t until she reached out to Life Without Barriers’ Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service in Queensland that things really started to turn around for her and her family.
Martha says after her first session - she wasn’t convinced if this was for her, but decided to press on for her own mental health. Now, she says “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my counselor's support” and weekly sessions.
“Having someone who specialises in domestic violence recovery has been the biggest benefit. My counsellor has helped me process some blocked memories and has helped me realise I’m not as broken as I thought I was.”
Martha’s two children have also been affected by domestic violence and the family trauma which has followed. Her daughter is now seeing the same counsellor to heal and process her own feelings.
Exposure to domestic and family violence, can have a complex and long lasting impact on children. Our counsellors talk with children and young people who have been affected by physical or emotional abuse happening around or to them, and help them deal with their experiences. We can also link in with schools and other community services to make sure they have access to a strong local network of support.
Martha is currently going through the difficult process of property settlement, and is continuing to utilise our services through this tumultuous time.
“My counsellor is helping me get through this period, while I have to make some tough decisions.”
Martha says if she could go back in time and give her younger self some advice, she would say, “there is plenty of specialised support out there, it’s not a sign that you’re weak if you ask for help.”
“I feel like I’m getting somewhere now.”
Reaching out for support is not always easy, but it is an essential step in the healing process of regaining self-confidence and self-worth. If you live in Northern Queensland. Call us on 1800 015 664 for specialised, confidential and free support.
We are here to listen, help and support you in your choices. We can:
Provide counselling and relationship advice and work through your options with you
Help you make a safety plan for you and other members of your household
Help you find immediate and safe accommodation
Arrange financial assistance
Help make arrangements to keep your pets safe.
If you are in danger, don’t feel safe, or fear for someone else’s safety, call Triple Zero (000) immediately and ask for police.
For non-urgent police assistance, phone Policelink on 131 444.
If you wish to speak with someone about domestic and family violence, you can contact:
DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811
DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636
1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732
If you wish to speak to someone about your mental health and wellbeing, you can contact:
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Mensline Australia on 1300 78 99 78
Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month Events
Information, support or resources.
*Names and images changed to protect the people we support .
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