Looking in on Sally’s life, it was one to aspire to. Sally and her husband owned a house and owned rental properties, they had 3 beautiful children and drove nice cars. The family were looked upon by friends and family as the perfect family.
Sally was from a great family – she was educated, intelligent, and sensible. She grew up in a safe, supportive and equal family home.
However, behind closed doors things were different. Sally stated she always saw control from her husband but she never linked that to domestic violence. Over the years with Sally advancing in her career and their growing family she continued pushing through the control, snide comments, emotional and financial abuse.
Sally says “You picture a certain stereotype when you think of abuse or domestic violence. You think battered wife with a black eye and bruises, low socio-economic position, perhaps even an area of the town they may live in.”
Sally attended at Emma house, unsure of they could help and unsure of what they even offered. Sally felt that the service would be better suited to people in a worse situation, as she was unable to see herself as in need.
Sally was able to work with her case worker, to build up her knowledge on family and domestic violence, work on ways to manage boundaries and have support through the court system. Although Sally was overwhelmed with the fact that she needed to accept help, she was amazed at the care and assistance that was offered to her. Her case worker assisted with applications for private rental properties, with the financial costs of setting up a house and buying food and essentials. She continued to check in with Sally regularly to see how she was going, and to make sure the children were also okay.
It is now over 2 years since Sally started her new life. She has a new job in a role she has been chasing for years, a new partner who adores and treats her with the respect and care she needs, and her children are thriving.
Finally, Sally says there is an important message that the community needs to know: “Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone from anywhere, at any age, in any stage of life. We need to break down that stereotype. I was an educated, intelligent and sensible person and through no fault of my own found myself in this situation. You don’t know what happens behind closed doors, sometimes even your own. We need to recognise the process and what’s happening and try and help others… before it gets to the pointy end. If I had known that services like Emma House were available, I would have left sooner. I never thought I would have the chance to make plans and decisions for my future. I now have that.”