“It was my Christmas party and he told me I wasn't allowed go to it. I had to go, I organised it and had promised everyone I would be there. He warned me I would be punished if I disobeyed him but I didn't want to let anyone down. I waited until he left the house, and then I went. I had a horrible nervous feeling all night but I tried to enjoy myself. When I came home, he was standing in the kitchen with this smug smile on his face. I knew he had done something but couldn't imagine what. My son called me upstairs and said 'Dad's after burning all your things.'
I couldn't get my head around what he just told me. He told me to go in to my room and see for myself. All my clothes, gone. Any memories that I had of my mum, gone!
He had burned everything I had out the back garden. That was my punishment for disobeying him, for doing something as normal as going to a Christmas party. But, it's because he didn't have control over me that night. That was the last night he stayed in our house. I lost my things but gained control.
He once threatened me "You might leave me, but you won't leave with that face," and beat me pretty badly. This photo is from that night and now I'm the one burning the memory of it.”
"Women's Voices" is a series of testimonies from survivors of domestic abuse. Each woman tells her story anonymously, sharing her own personal experience of the abuse. By telling their stories, the survivors hope that those in similar situations reach out, ask for help, and seek support. If you are affected by domestic abuse or are concerned about someone you know, please call the Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900.