Prior to interviewing domestic violence awareness campaigner Rosie Batty this morning, Brisbane radio host Bianca Dye told a terrifying story of her own.
“I wasn’t sure if I should share this or not,” the 97.3 anchor began, “but I think I might help people understand a bit more if I do.”
And so Dye pressed on and revealed that she is among the one in three Australian women who will experience physical violence at some point in their lifetime.
“In my early twenties I broke up with someone who couldn’t handle that,” she told co-hosts Terry Hansen and Bob Gallagher.
“He showed up at my house… I was in a situation where I was terrified and I was crying in the kitchen with a knife in my hand, because he punched me twice, threw my Jack Russell up against a wall, he cracked a rib and he choked me.”
Wrapped in a towel, she sat there all night “shivering and scared” while he slept off the alcohol. When she woke the next morning, he was gone and thankfully never returned.
Dye says it was only the one time she'd been subjected to such violence and that ultimately she recovered well.
But, like many victims, she didn't press charges - to this day, she says, she doesn't know why.
And like many victims, she was blamed for the attack.
"One of my family members actually said to me when I told her, 'Yeah, but you must have done something to provoke him'," she said on radio this morning. "I went, 'Wow! What? Just being me and feisty and breaking up with him?'
Dye said she hopes her story will help break down some of the stigma surrounding domestic violence; stigma that suggests it doesn't happen to strong, confident women, that the victim must be partly at fault, that it's as simple as just getting out of there.
"You know what? You live in hope. You live in hope that it's not going to happen and that they're going to change," she said.
"And unfortunately in this sort of situation, often that's not the case."
To listen to Bianca, Bob and Terry's subsequent interview with Rosie Batty, head here.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.