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Forms Of Abuseimages from the stories

Zana

In my culture man is boss. Woman voice cannot be higher than him. When he bring me back to Australia with him, I am looking to him how to do things here but he only want me to stay home. I don’t know any person here, only through him. I have no English. I don’t know where I am. Sometimes he lock me, not to go outside to meet person. I am crying all the times but he makes me to believe that maybe I have faults. I am not trying to make my new life, my marriage work. He makes me to believe that I am no good.

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He keeps all the monies. I can only go to shopping with him and not talk to any person. Sometimes he takes the phone away. I cannot talk to my family and when I cannot cope, he becomes more angry. All the time, just hitting and punching but then to the other people on the phone he is so sweet, talking. In front of other people he is so good. Then I feel more stupid because I cannot make them to see he is like the two different persons. When I am pregnant, he throw the phone to my stomach and I lose the baby and I am bleeding and my hate for him, my hate for him begins to grow but also my fear. I am scared to leave because only he knows the reason and he tell to me that if I make trouble, they will take away my daughter, which I know will make my heart stop. I think that maybe I go home to my country but as a divorced woman I will have a very bad life. He tell to me that if I leave, I cannot survive here.

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I cannot eat the same food as him. Even he eats all the best meat. Even if I want a piece of fruit from the fruit bowl, I must ask him first.

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I am running to the bathroom with my daughter and he is screaming at me and he run to me with the turpentine and put a match. It is like the most bad dream, like it is happening to another woman, not to me. I run to the front door but it is locked. When the fire is stopped, I tried to phone for help but I don’t know the number, who to call. He is screaming at me “no one will believe you” and then he say the 000, call if you want and he go to the bedroom. I don’t know the address to tell to Police but my daughter, she is eight but like 20 years. She brings me the phone bill with the address. I don’t know if the Police will help me. He tell to them my clothing has caught on fire and that is how I am burnt but the policeman, he is a beautiful man. He give me his number and asked me to call for more help. He bring down a social worker to the hospital where I am having the serious burn. Also later, he is a witness in Court for restraining my ex-husband. It is usual for them to take the man 24 hours but this policeman, he take my husband 72 hours for me to get help and he tell to me, (05.28) you don’t go back. It is not going to stop.

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When I come to the Refuge, it is very hard, very hard. So different the living and I am thinking I’m so stupid. ‘What am I doing here? Why am I here? I should go back. If I stay I have no money. I already lost my husband. I have nothing.’ It was very hard but it is better than to be with him. I hear the women’s stories and they are talking and I realize that I am right. I realize also it’s not my fault. When he do tie me up for the sex, he tell to me that if I want to live here, this is what a woman must do. I am also very scared for the counseling. I am thinking that the counseling only for the person with the mental sickness but they do help me a lot to understand. I learn that you must have support like friends to tell you what is right and wrong, to tell you truly the person that you are.