Ask the aunties

Dear Aunties,

I met my  partner at a dance. We have been living together for four years. We have a three year old boy so that has made going out dancing more difficult. My mother has never liked this kind of arrangement, she is ashamed, even today. I don’t ask her to mind my boy unless I am desperate. Certainly, I would not ask so I could go clubbing!

Sometimes I go with a girlfriend and this time when I came home my partner asked, very roughly, ‘Where have ya been?’ I told him that he knew I was going to the club but he just grunted and said, ‘Get in there and take that muck off ya face!’ I said, ‘Don’t talk to me like that!’ Suddenly, he made a swing at me and slapped my face so hard I thought my neck was broken!

I began to cry but then I thought I am not stopping here one more moment and went to the only place I could go with a child, Mum’s!

I picked up my boy out of his cot, grabbed some clothes for us both and walked out! My partner just sat in the chair and said nothing!

My problem is that Mum now wants me to make up with him and say sorry and all that stuff! She thinks I should not want to go out without him and understands his anger!

My mind is made up. I could never trust him again! Is Mum right or am I right?

Tracey

Dear Tracey

While everyone involved might feel justified in their responses, the fact remains that those who use violence to resolve disagreements will continue to do so!

Violence is not something that can be ignored; now that you have taken this course (a brave thing to do) it will be better for everyone.

If you intend to or need to live with your Mum you need to sit down with her and quietly explain your actions and feelings. If she persists in wanting you to ‘make up’ with this man perhaps you both could go to a good counsellor; Community Health at Manning Hospital will refer you! 

Or you could suggest she write to us and we will refer her to reputable sources which maintain that unless the assailant genuinely desires to cure him or herself of committing violent acts then it is most unlikely he will change.

The Aunties

The Manning River Times presents a series of letters under the title ‘Ask the aunties’, focusing on potential scenarios that could lead to domestic violence. While the letters are imaginary, the problems are real for many women.

To seek help, phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732); Lifeline 13 11 14 or the police 000.

Some signs of abuse can include: unfairly and regularly accuses her of flirting or being unfaithful; controls how she spends money; decides what she wears or eats; humiliates her in front of other people; monitors what she is doing, including reading her emails and text messages; discourages or prevents her from seeing friends and family; threatens to hurt her, the children or pets; physically assaults her (hitting, biting, slapping, kicking, pushing); yells at her; threatens to use a weapon against her; decides what she uses for birth control; forces her to have an abortion or to continue a pregnancy; constantly compares her with other people; constantly criticises her intelligence, mental health and appearance; prevents her from practising her religion.