I was really happy when I heard about the government’s recent announcement on increasing support for domestic violence services in the light of the Coronavirus situation.

As our nation deals with thousands of job losses, schools closing, rising number of coronavirus infections, and strict social restrictions, people and young children are facing increasing isolation each day. This increases the chances of abuse and it makes me feel sick that children have no way to escape and victims cannot get away.

This financial support from the government will definitely help to get more services available to everyone who needs them.

However, I feel it is still up to us to take the first step to look out for each other. There are many things we can do and one of them is to get to get to know your neighbours.

If you have been following my journey, you would be aware how my neighbours had actually saved my life. They were there during that fateful evening and helped to stop the attack from turning fatal. I would not be here if not for them.

I found out months later about these three angels as I was recovering. Two of them, Donny and Julius, are really big boys but such gentle giants. I have seen them around my neighbourhood before and even though we didn’t go to each other’s houses for dinners or anything like that, we always greeted each other when we meet on the driveway.

Being a single mom with three young children at that time, they would also often offer to help me with my groceries or to help me with mowing the lawn. We lived in separate houses, but I just knew that they will be there for me when I needed them.

Karen and me.

Karen is the person who held my head together while the paramedics arrived. It must have been a very scary moment and I can only imagine how she felt. To be able to stay calm in such a situation and step forward to help me, a stranger she hardly knew at that time, I am truly thankful. Karen is one of the bravest persons I know.

I have gotten to know them better since and they have absolutely got the biggest hearts. I am truly lucky and blessed to have met them and cannot thank them enough.

So, I encourage everyone to go get to know your neighbours (while maintaining 1.5 metres apart of course). Go introduce yourselves, say hello. You don’t have to be best mates, just get to know them in the slightest little way. They might be of different coloured skin or facial features, but we are fellow people. A single human race. We should be looking out for each other, especially in times like this when we are stuck at home most of the time.

With domestic violence services experiencing increasing requests for assistance during this period, our neighbours represent our first line of defense. We could also become our neighbour’s first line of defense as well. Each and every one of us must work together be on the lookout for red flags and to support each other through this crisis.

Sending my love to you all and please, stay safe, stay on top of it and let us continue to work together to stop domestic violence.