Every day 3 million of us are dealing with domestic violence at work across Australia. These women and men are our mothers, our fathers, our daughters, our sons, our wives, our husbands, our friends and our colleagues.
Abusive behaviours can include:
threatening to hurt you, your relatives, friends or work colleagues,
damaging property to frighten and intimidate you (including punching holes in walls, breaking furniture, harming pets),
emotional abuse (including criticising your personality, looks, the way you dress, threatening to hurt you, your children or your pets, or threatening to damage personal items you value),
verbal abuse (including yelling, shouting, name-calling and swearing at you),
financial abuse (including taking control of the money, not giving you enough money to survive on, forcing you to hand over your funds, not letting you say how it is spent)
threatening to stop providing care for you if you don’t do what you are told (this sometimes happens to people with an illness, disability or impairment who rely on another person to care for them),
social abuse (including controlling where you go, not letting you see or have contact with your friends or family),
depriving you of the necessities of life such as food, shelter, medical care and the company of other people such as your family and friends,
spiritual abuse (including forcing you to attend religious activities against your wishes, prohibiting you from participating in the religious or cultural practices of your choice),
stalking (including constantly following you by foot or car, constantly calling you by phone, text message and email, or staying outside your house or workplace). Stalking is a criminal offence in Queensland.
There were times when I thought it was easier to take an over dose or jump off a bridge into oncoming traffic… and then there were moments where I kept reminding myself to just stick to the plan… you can get out! It took me 2 years of planning and gathering up enough strength to walk away from everything I owned and had so I could be free from him and start again.
It usually started with a raised voice that bellowed into screaming and it was usually over money and his lack of it due to the fact, as I found out later, that most of the money from our business and savings was being snorted up his nose before we even saw it.
What usually happened next was me being pinned up against a wall with his hand choking my throat and his fist punching the wall millimetres from my left ear… it was just a typical day in a life known as hell! Some days better, some days worse.
It took me 2 years of going through this scenario and more nearly every day to escape. Having no confidence or self-esteem and no one knowing my situation at the time, I constantly questioned whether it was me? Can I start again? Can I do this on my own? The only thing that got me through this hell was faith that it would be okay. – Gab, Brisbane.