What a last couple of weeks it has been with domestic violence related incidences. And it is not only affecting women, but it also affects children as well. May is Queensland’s Domestic Family Violence Prevention Month and this couldn’t have arrived at a more poignant time.
Firstly, the tragic death of poor little Kobi Shepherdson, who lost her life at nine months in South Australia recently. Her dad, being the perpetrator, took his life as well when they plunged off the dam wall in an apparent murder suicide.
Secondly, the horrific death of Kelly Wilkinson, whose body was found covered in petrol and burned in her own backyard, with her estranged partner now charged with allegedly murdering her. This brings back painful memories of Hannah Clarke and her children.
I’m sure there are others as well, but these cases were reported widely in the media and they are absolutely heartbreaking. These women were just trying to say no, and they want nothing else but to get out of the unhappy relationship.
Please, perpetrators, get help when help is needed. You can reach out to Mensline 1300 789 978 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 – it is not embarrassing to seek help. Domestic violence is preventable and we all need you to step up and take responsibility to break the cycle of abuse. This is not something victims can do alone and it is something we have to do together.
Sparing a thought for our children too, the ones who are left behind. Imagine the trauma, the mental scars that the incident would leave behind. My kids were present when my perpetrator committed the act of violence on me, and I would never wish it on anybody to have to go through what my kids had to.
There is just no excuses not to change. Yes, we are going through a tough period of COVID, but the services are available. Police are available. We need to continue to speak up. Just this morning I was contacted by a person in Victoria who is seeking help trying to get out of a relationship. The main concern there, again, was the safety of the children.
It is happening on a daily basis. I’m hearing it, and myself being through it, myself being a survivor, and struggling at times myself. We all need to keep speaking up. Bystanders – if you suspect, see or hear anything that could be or lead to domestic violence, please, please report. We need to save our lives and our children’s lives too
So let’s really hit it hard with Domestic and Family Prevention Month in Queensland this month. Let’s all stand up as a nation. Let’s stop domestic violence. Together let’s change the mindsets of our next generation that are coming through.