My name is Eloise. I have just ‘graduated’ from Brighter Futures, an early intervention program run by Mission Australia for women who have experienced prolonged domestic violence and isolation.
Through the program I was enrolled in parenting classes (I have three children aged 2, 6 and 9), taught to drive and I learnt anger management techniques. I was given counselling and was helped to plan my life. They have helped build my self-esteem and I’m now doing a business course at TAFE. Leaving my partner, finally, after nearly 10 years of abuse was such a difficult decision – those of you who don’t know what it is like won’t understand why I felt paralysed to leave.
You need to realise that the threats against me and what he would do to my children were real and I lived in fear every day. I was in a dark hole and I saw no way out. I was guilty and ashamed. Mission Australia really helped me see that things can be different. It’s been a long journey, a difficult one … but to see my children happy, laughing and safe is wonderful.
For me, life now holds hope and possibilities … because I’m free …
Story by Eloise