Jade’s boyfriend controlled her and physically abused her until she found the strength to leave with support from friends and colleagues.
I congratulated myself for surviving the terrible experience I had endured. I saw it as a great feat of strength.
When I met my boyfriend he seemed really into me. He would constantly tell me that I was beautiful and that he loved me. He made me feel so special. We eventually moved in together and that’s when things began to change.
He became controlling about what I ate, what I bought, and where we would go. He would take my car so I couldn’t get to Uni. Then when he came home, I was expected to have all the cleaning and cooking done. He compared me to other girls and I began to feel bad about myself.
Things escalated whenever he took alcohol or drugs. He became physically abusive and would hit, kick, throw, and head-butt me. Sometimes he would beat me up in the car while I was driving. Once he dragged me along our street while his mates watched and laughed.
He would always say sorry afterwards and that he would get counselling, but he never did.
We lived far away from my parents and friends and I wasn’t allowed to leave the house. I felt really trapped and isolated and became really depressed.
How my situation changed
He eventually allowed me to get a job because he needed money. The job I found had the most amazing staff, and that helped to build up my self-esteem. I realised that there were better people and places out there for me.
I also got in touch with an old friend and told her what he was doing to me. She helped me realise that I deserved so much more than that. I finally packed my things up and left one morning while he was sleeping. I never saw him again.
Regaining my sense of self
Staying with a supportive friend and going into counselling helped me gain my strength back. I began to realise that I am a wonderful person. And, instead of hating myself, I congratulated myself for surviving the terrible experience I had endured. I saw it as a great feat of strength.
What the experience taught me
I realised that, no matter how much I loved him or felt sorry for him, his behaviour would never change. Every chance that I gave him became another opportunity for him to hurt me. Opening up and talking to someone I trusted and getting support from a counsellor were the best things that I did. I’m now with an awesome guy and I’ve never felt so good about myself.
About this story
While some names may have been changed, this story is true and was shared with consent for the purpose of raising awareness about the experience of family violence. Please do not republish or adapt this story without written permission. Contact us.
Telling your own story
Sharing your story of family violence and your journey to recovery can be powerful. It can raise awareness, challenge stereotypes and inspire others. There are many ways you can tell your story. This might include writing it down, expressing it through art, or sharing with a trusted person or support service.