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Emma's* Story

Emma Website Story
WCH News
Posted 15 May 2024

Emma* shares her story for Domestic Family Violence Prevention Month in the hope that she will inspire others to seek help.

*Content warning: This story addresses the topic of domestic family violence (DFV) and animal cruelty.

“My dad was verbally and emotionally abusive growing up, so to me, it was normal. It wasn’t until I talked through what I was experiencing to my social worker, that I realised I was living in a domestic and family violence relationship.”

Emma was 15 years old when she left school, started seeing her ex-partner and got caught up in drugs and alcohol.

By 18, Emma was pregnant with her first child while living in an abusive relationship with the father of her unborn child, who was violent and constantly tracked her movements.

“He was manipulative, he threatened me, smashed my things, and held everything over my head. He even tried to hang my dog.”

Emma connected with Metropolitan Youth Health (MYH) and Talking Realities and its Flexible Learning Options (FLO) program to complete her SACE. After talking with a MYH social worker, Emma soon realised that she was living with domestic and family violence (DFV).

“I tried to leave him so many times, but I just couldn’t, it was just too hard.”

It wasn’t long after this that Emma’s two older children were removed from Emma’s care due to the impact of DFV on them. After cutting contact with her ex-partner, Emma hasn’t spoken to him in over 3 years.

Over the past 8 years with MYH, Emma has participated in every one of its services and programs, including clinic checks, psychology, the Indigenous Young Parents Program and Supporting Parents and Children’s Emotions (SPACE) program.

“SPACE helped me realise a lot of things. I thought I was experiencing DFV, but not the kids. I didn’t realise how much of an impact that it had on them.”

Emma now has a supportive and loving partner and share a beautiful baby boy together. Now a safe space for her children, the couple are excitedly waiting to be reunited with Emma’s two older children in the coming months.

“I’ve continued to see my kids regularly over the past 3 years. They have been very well cared for and genuinely loved in the foster home that they’ve been living in.”

Emma has built incredibly strong relationships with other strong women who have accessed MYH in addition to its workers and shared with us that, “I wouldn’t have got through everything without them. They were there in my hardest times. It wasn’t just about getting through a program, they genuinely cared about me and what I was going through and how they could help.”

When Emma turned 25, MYH worked with her to begin transitioning to connect with other community support services. In Emma’s case, they worked together and kept the lines of communication open, so Emma continued to feel like she had a “safety net” and so she didn’t “panic” at the thought of not having access to people that had supported her for almost a decade.

Emma shares some powerful advice for others thinking about leaving their partner due to DFV, “You can do anything you put your mind to. No matter what’s happened or what is going on, if you put your mind to it, you can do it and I did it. You are strong enough to leave… You are better without them”.

If you or someone you know is living with domestic and family violence and needs support call 𝟭𝟴𝟬𝟬 𝗥𝗘𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗧, 𝗖𝗲𝗱𝗮𝗿 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲: 𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝟬𝟴 𝟴𝟰𝟰𝟰 𝟬𝟳𝟬𝟬. For those under 25 years, call 𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗻 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗻 𝟭𝟴𝟬𝟬 𝟳𝟭𝟲 𝟴𝟴𝟭.

#endDFV, #endcoercivecontrol