What can you do to reduce Domestic Violence?

What can you do to reduce Domestic Violence?

Yes I do think it’s everyone’s responsibility to help prevent and reduce Domestic and Family Violence.

How do you do that?

🔹 By educating yourself on what abusive and controlling behaviours are.

🔹 Observe your own actions and reactions to better understand your emotions and feelings. It’s ok to feel angry, frustrated, sad, upset, disappointed. Your emotions are valid because they are yours but it is never ok to bully, intimidate, provoke, lash out or degrade someone else because of the way you feel.

🔹 Learn to self regulate your emotions and come up with strategies that work for you instead of lashing out. This could be walking away, spending 5 minutes doing deep breathing, turn the music up and dance. Do anything that makes you feel good and raises your vibration because it is never ok to make someone else feel like garbage because of the way you feel.

🔹 Calling out those who display them especially if they are close friends or family members. Don’t turn a blind eye or develop selective hearing if you witness your brother or sister, cousins or best friend say something mean and derogatory. Tell them it’s not cool. Pull them up on it in a respectful and tactful way to cause them to think about their behaviour.

🔹 Post DV support numbers on your Facebook. You never know who in your friends list is experiencing DV and may hold onto that number ‘just in case’

🔹 Prevention is much easier than healing and therapy later so teach your children about resilience and self esteem and confidence for it is insecure people who degrade and bully another human being in order to make themselves feel better or more superior.

🔹 Teach your children that if they feel a tight uncomfortable feeling in their belly’s in response to something someone has said or done that it’s their body’s instinct and gut feeling. They should pay attention to that and trust it. They can say Stop, I don’t like the way that makes me feel.

🔹 If your child hears someone say Stop, I don’t like the way that makes me feel teach them that they need to respect that and stop the behaviour. They don’t get to assume how it makes someone feel or determine that person is just sensitive and over reacting. They need to stop. Period.

🔹 Offer non-judgemental support to anyone who opens up to you. You may not be a professional but you can be caring and supportive. Pass on numbers and local support services. Understand that leaving isn’t easy, in fact it is often the most dangerous time in a relationship for a victim and their children.

And always remember that you are important, you are enough and you can make a difference 💜

Why I Stayed and where to buy it

Why I Stayed and where to buy it

True story of a Domestic Violence relationship. I once believed the only way I’d get out of my relationship was in a body bag. I wrote this book to assist my healing and to answer the question I was asked most often “Why did you stay for so long?” I hope to create awareness of abusive relationships by telling my story of how it began, why I stayed for as long as I did and what I had to do to start the healing process. It is my vision to educate some and give hope to others. This is proof that there is life after Domestic Violence

Here are some direct links or there’s an option to buy direct from me if you’re in Australia – no additional postage costs, no waiting times.

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/s/Why+I+stayed+lisa+Lee

https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/why-i-stayed-lee-lisa/p/9781925993219?zsrc=go-nons&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2sjaqpe45AIVgwsrCh38sg2WEAQYASABEgJVgfD_BwE

https://www.booktopia.com.au/why-i-stayed-lee-lisa/book/9781925993219.html

Or if you’re in Australia you can buy direct from me for AUD$15 and I’ll post it same day to you

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/shoppingcart?flowlogging_id=c150a64f427c0&mfid=1567635133808_c150a64f427c0#/checkout/openButton

Thank you for supporting the awareness of DV and empowerment for life after.

My Story

My Story

I was 15 when I met him. It was my first relationship. I was in a pretty bad place in my young years and it felt safe and comforting to be with someone. To begin with, there were no alarms bells. No red flags. I didn’t know any different.

Gradually the name calling stepped up. So did the mental abuse in the form of telling me no one else would ever want me, making me feel useless and worthless. Blaming me for everyone that went wrong Things were always my fault. He’d tell me he wouldn’t say the things he did if I wasn’t so stupid.

And still, I didn’t know what Domestic Violence was. The term wasn’t in the media. No one spoke of it. I actually didn’t learn what Domestic Violence was until about 11 years later. I didn’t know it was a thing, I just knew it was a horrible way to live.

By the time I understood I was living in a Domestic Violence relationship, I felt stuck. I had no self-esteem, no self-confidence and after being with him since I was 15 years old, I didn’t know any other life. I was terrified of being on my own. I was terrified of being a single Mum. And I was also terrified he’d actually kill me and my family if I ever left, like he’d threatened for so many years.

Arguments got physical sometimes, but it was the mental abuse that still haunts me. I’d will him to hit me sometimes. Because in my mind the episode would be over on the spot. The arguments and screaming and blaming and threats could go on for hours. And they never let up. I wished so many times he’d just hit me or knock me out so it was over. But instead I sat in my own home constantly in fear, constantly crying, hating life, hating myself.

Bitch, whore, slut, dumb fuck. Those words have lost their meaning to me these days. But what remains is the way I was made the feel. The eggshells I walked on. The fear of setting him off or doing something wrong. Feeling like I couldn’t do anything right or that nothing I did was good enough.

It took an allegation of cheating (he believed I cheated on him with a friend on a night we went to a social function together), a whole weekend of abuse, damage to my property and then calling me on Monday morning at work, visiting my workplace, more phone calls, threats and believing he would truly kill me this time that I let a work colleague call the police. That phone call started my leaving journey. I was bundled off to the police station to give my statement and apply for an Apprehended Violence Order in between phone calls and verbal threats to myself and my property.

He was charged with intimidation and ordered not to come anywhere near me, my house or my workplace. I was petrified to begin with. My mum and friends stayed at my house constantly because I was too scared to be there on my own in case he came over. I carried my phone to the washing line and slept with my phone in my hand. I only left the house for work and to get essentials. I looked over my shoulder constantly and I wondered if the stress, fear and angst was worth it.

It’s been 7 years now since I left and the stress, fear and angst was worth it. It’s been a tremendous journey. Not without its ups and downs, good times, bad times and downright messy times. But I’m so glad I did because this is a freedom I’ve never experienced before. And it’s a very beautiful feeling.

What can you achieve in 7 years?

What can you achieve in 7 years?

Yesterday was 7 years since I’d left my husband, the father of my kids and the only life I’d ever known. I needed an AVO and police intervention after years of domestic violence including verbal and physical abuse. When I left him I luckily had a lot of support around me but I had zero self esteem and had no idea how I would manage life as a single mum after being with him since I was 15.

In the last 7 years I have been raising 5 kids by myself and doing a pretty good job. They’re all good kids and I take all the credit for it.

I’ve taken them to the snow, on several cruises, on their 1st overseas trip and across NSW camping and fourbying. We’re roadtripping to Uluru in a few months too!

I go to school events, footy games, netball carnivals, take them moto riding and love them fiercely.

I got divorced, finalised property settlement, worked my ass off and sacrificed a lot to buy my exhusband out and keep the house to give my children security and stability. I then renovated the house, sold the house and moved down the coast in search of a better life for us. We found it. It’s gorgeous down here.

I bought a block of land and moved into our brand new house 12 months ago.

I’ve graduated Uni with a Bachelor of Community Development and currently at Uni studying Law to maintain my employability and ensure our futures.

I self published a book on my DV experience, sold copies around the world and about to start collaborating with a company who shares my vision.

I’ve lost 5 kilos, worked on me and my healing and gained self confidence and self esteem I never imagined I’d ever have. I’ve learned to love who I am, flaws and all, and so damn excited for what the future holds.

I’ve never been happier ❤️

Why Do They Stay?

Why Do They Stay?

In Australia, at least one woman is killed by a current partner or ex-partner every week. Every single week. So if these men are capable of such violence, why do women stay? Such an easy question to ask, not so easy to answer. Women stay with violent and abusive men for a range of reasons and unless you’ve been there, you just can’t understand.

Relationships rarely begin with a display of verbal abuse, shoving, hitting and controlling behaviour. It’s something that creeps up over time. To begin with women are made to feel like they’re making it up or blowing it out of proportion “I never said it like that, you’re hearing things” and “Do you really believe I would do/say something like that? Wow, you mustn’t know me at all.” The verbal abuse continues either bluntly or subtly for a while before the first physical incident occurs and he’s so unbelievably sorry, it’ll never happen again and he’s so sweet and attentive. She believes him. She so badly wants to believe him. After all, she never knew he was capable of physically striking her so it has to be a once off due to all of the stress he’s under.

She’s in love with him. He was amazing in the beginning. “He used to take me out to dinner, buy me flowers, tell me how beautiful I looked so where has this telling me what I can and can’t wear come from? He never acted like that in the beginning.” It becomes a strange concept to grapple with. A man who abuses, controls and isolates his partner didn’t begin his relationship that way. Denial plays its part because it’s hard to understand where his new persona has come from. Maybe it’s just stress? He has been working hard lately, maybe his boss is giving him a hard time? She makes excuses trying to explain his change in behaviour. She’s trying to give meaning to who he has become. She’ll just try and keep the peace, try and make him more comfortable, go about her day and hope things go back to normal, that he goes back to normal. But this is his new normal now unfortunately.

By the time she identifies that she is experiencing verbal, emotional, sexual and/or physical abuse she may have been deliberately isolated “I don’t know why you want to go and see her. She’s a whore” and “I can’t believe you’re friends with someone like that” or a blunt statement “I don’t like her and I don’t want you to hang out with her anymore.”

Either she pulls back from her support network or they just drift away as her relationship takes a different course. Well meaning friends might gently persuade her that what she’s experiencing isn’t right and tell her to leave but if that causes her shame she’ll stop answering the phone and make excuses to skip social occasions. She wants to avoid any shame, embarrassment, pity and finger pointing at all costs. A lot of her energy goes into getting through the day and home on her own feels safer.

Her family may be bolder and call him out on his behaviour. Arguments occur, conflict arises and he forbids her from seeing her disrespectful family members or tells her she must choose. He’s her partner, they share a house together, he’s the father of her children and she can’t take their Dad away from them. She has limited options. She chooses him for the sake of her children and for peace. Short lived peace though.

As the arguing continues and intensifies the control tightens and the name calling and vitriol occurs more frequently.  Even a strong woman becomes quite downtrodden when she is constantly referred to as dumb, fat, ugly, nagging, bitch, slut, stupid. It’s hard not to let words affect your self esteem and eat into your soul. She begins to believe him. She feels useless, worthless and she doesn’t think she can do anything right.

Everything seems so overwhelming. Leaving becomes too hard to a worn down woman because where does she go? Family members have offered their support in the past but how can she uproot her children from their bedrooms and home and cram them into a small shared space with family? He’s already told her that he’s not leaving, if she doesn’t like it then she has to be the one to leave. She may or may not be working but she’s always shared the finances and the costs of the house and the children with him. She doesn’t have the means to continue the same lifestyle and pay mortgage/rent on her own. Finances play a big part in if women stay or leave. Statistics show a large number of women will return to an abusive relationship purely for financial support for their children.

Maybe she has reached out before. Maybe she wasn’t believed because he’s such a model citizen, he’s a great friend who helps everyone when he can and he’s so charming, nice, helpful….are you sure you didn’t provoke him? Maybe he’s just under a lot of stress? She just got shut down and she won’t mention it again now.

She also hopes he will change, that it is just a phase because she knows the man he was when they met, the man he can be. She prays he finds himself again and they can go back to being a loving couple and a loving, happy family.

A lot of women hear threats of harm. He’ll threaten to keep the children from her if she leaves, threaten to harm their pets or family members, threaten to self harm and threaten to hunt her down and kill her if she does dare to leave. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors and she has no idea if he is really capable of following out his threats. Does she want to find out?

The most dangerous time for a woman living in an abusive relationship is when she’s planning to leave or just after she’s left. It’n not as simple as just walking out the door and leaving. Many will look over their shoulders and tense up every time the phone rings for years to come. Many struggle mentally for the rest of their lives. They have experienced trauma and develop post traumatic stress disorder. Some won’t make it. Women don’t just become safe when they leave the relationship. They are killed by their ex-partners or their demons get the better of them and they take their own lives to escape the pain.

She stays for lots of reasons. Many you can’t comprehend unless you’ve been there.
‘Why I Stayed’ is my personal account of a domestic violence relationship. It takes you through my life, the beginning, why I stayed, how I left and the healing I’ve done since then. It can be purchased by download the Kindle app to your device and buying it here:
https://www.amazon.com/Why-I-Stayed-Lisa-Lee/dp/1549551345

If you are in an abusive relationship and want to get out, get in contact with a local support organisation or ring a national helpline for advice, make a plan, assess your safety and remain vigilant, find your support network, engage help.

If you have left an abusive relationship and are struggling, please get in contact with your local support agencies – that’s what they’re there for, reach out, find a counsellor, love yourself and know that there is life after domestic violence.