“One woman a week is killed at the hands of a current or former partner. I was almost one of those women.” Martine’s* story is not uncommon.
Things were fine at the start but pretty quickly, he started to behave differently. My boys didn’t want to be around him. He would occasionally get physically aggressive, grabbing my arms, but mostly he would play mind games.
He would always apologise, and send texts saying “I’m sorry, I’m going to change.” I believed him. I didn’t even realise he was manipulating me. Until one day, my son Andy* said to me “Mum, I can’t believe he treats you like this. He shouldn’t be treating you like this.” I knew then that I couldn’t have this man around me or my kids.
Things escalated and became frightening. He started harassing me, leaving hundreds of messages, and calling over and over again.
He would come to the house and bash on the windows, while I hid inside with my boys. He terrorised my mum, texting her dozens of times a day, asking where I was. He snuck in to my friend’s party, stole my phone and went through it, reading all of my messages. He would drive after me, and harass me on the roads by cutting me off, swerving towards my car, tooting his horn and yelling out.
One night, it reached breaking point. He came into my home uninvited and physically attacked me. Andy*, who was only 12 years old at the time, woke up and ran to help me, jumping on his back to get him off me.
I know you want to stop this from happening to more women in the future. As an organisation that receives less than 10% funding from the government, White Ribbon Australia relies on generous donations from everyday Australians to enable their work to end men’s violence against women, starting with schools across Australia.
It would mean a lot to me if you could make a kind donation of $79 this tax time, so we can reach more young people through White Ribbon’s school program to teach about respect, gender equality and healthy relationships. Thank you for donating, to be a part of this change making future generations safer.