Journo helps domestic abuse survivors share their stories
I'M a journalist. I'm a woman. I'm middle-aged. I'm an animal lover. I'm a partner. I'm an avid reader. I'm a coffee drinker. I'm a social media fiend. I'm a terrible swimmer. I'm shy. I'm sensitive. I'm stubborn.
Just like everyone else on this planet, I'm defined by many things.
Most of all I'm defined by the lingering impacts of family violence.
As a survivor of parental abuse, I know how hard it is to push aside the ingrained shame that comes from being told over and over again that you are not worthy of love.
WHY I STAYED - STORIES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVAL:
- My abuser took almost everything I loved - including my unborn baby's life.
- How a teenager coped with abuse
- How I met my abuser online
- Staying alive was my idea of normal
I also know that there thousands of domestic, intimate partner and child abuse survivors in this country who no longer want to whisper their tales of tragedy and triumph from the shadows. So I'm on a mission to collect as many of their stories as possible and share them with the rest of the world.
Over the past few months, I've been travelling around Queensland photographing survivors and collecting their stories for The RED HEART Campaign's Why I Stayed project.
While every survivor's story is unique, each tale is bound together by deep personal loss, incredible strength, steely determination and extreme bravery in the face of the worst kind of cruelty any human can inflict on another. Today, you will read excerpts from just four of the 21 stories I have collected.
The Why I Stayed project can be viewed at www.facebook.com/TheREDHEARTCampaign
IF YOU NEED HELP: For 24-hour support phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or Men's Line on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).