My name is Tracey and I am going to write a series of blogs on violence against women as I’ve experienced this throughout my whole life. I will be writing about domestic violence, sexual and psychological violence and how this can affect your whole life.
I first experienced violence as a little girl, witnessed often with my Father attacking my Mother with physical violence, psychological violence, bullying and intimidation. As a child growing up in the seventies, domestic violence did not have a high profile like it does today, nor did men get charged for their aggressiveness and abuse in the home. Women suffered in silence, as did my Mother, bottling up her feelings and being submissive to avoid further attacks. My Father’s abuse stemmed largely from alcohol, but he was also a philanderer, and took out all his frustrations on my Mother. I once saw my Father throw my Mother across the front yard. This early experience of violence in the home, has shaped my whole life, with a grit determination to be a strong woman.
As I grew up, thankfully taller than my Mother and nearly as tall as my Father, I became her protector, standing up to him so that he would leave her alone and come after me instead. I was great at running and hiding in small places, such as beside the toilet, to get away from him. When I was just 14 years old, I would tell my Mother to drive around, so we could go and find his car outside a hotel and sit and wait for him to walk out. One particular night that remains vivid in my mind, saw my Father walking out of the pub with another lady, and I yelled at him and her, saying he was a pig. When the women asked who I was, I said: “I’m his daughter and this is HIS WIFE you skank!” My Father told me to shut up, but I didn’t remain silent, berating him yet again for his philandering actions. I yelled while my Mother cried. That was the norm.
Without a doubt, all the stress and trauma that my Mother went through, caused her to get cancer at just 36-years-of-age. Of course, when my Father found out my Mother was sick, he left without a look behind him at the damage he’d done to his wife and two daughters.
This upbringing forced me to be strong as I always felt protective of my Mother and sister. One day, when my Mother and I were out walking, she told me that she wished she could be as strong as me. I replied: “I’m never going to let a man push me around like that” but this would prove detrimental in later relationships.
My Mother died at when she was just 48, with a broken heart. My Father continues to be a philanderer to this day, but I am happy to say we no longer speak, and I will never forgive him for the dark memories he embedded into my brain or for destroying my Mother’s life.
Thankfully, domestic and sexual violence, have a much higher profile today and carry mandatory jail sentences. It is a dirty scourge of generations past and needs to stop.
If I was a young girl again, I would have worn Trakalarm and put one on my Mother so vital evidence could have been captured and sent to Police, even though my Mother didn’t file one Police report as it just wasn’t done in her era. Let’s all stand together and make the world safer, by saying NO to domestic violence, and ensuring the safety of women everywhere by wearing Trakalarm.
Tears have been falling as I write this blog. My journey with domestic and sexual violence will continue.