Thousands of women and children are hurt by violence in the home every year. That abuse could be violent, sexual, emotional or financial. Kids are hurt because this family abuse can prevent them from growing up, going to school, getting jobs or becoming happy adults. Lilly is 14 years old and lives in regional NSW. She is a Youth Ambassador for Save the Children Australia.
These issues mean a great deal to me because I was a victim of incest. I know how frustrating it can be going through the courts to try and get justice or even protection.
It’s been impossible for me and my mum to get legal protection from the person who sexually abused me. The whole process was nothing short of awful. And I was only ten years old at the time and attempting to support my mother with her own domestic violence situation.
These women shared their experiences of sexual violence on Twitter. Post continues after video…
Since then I have been receiving treatment for anxiety and depression. It breaks my heart to think that other children have to be dragged through that same thing.
Our experience shows that the legal process can be needlessly difficult for kids to get the protection that they need and deserve.
Women and children’s safety can come at a high price, with many paying exorbitant legal fees after going through the Family Court system or finding the legal process almost as traumatising as the abuse they received.
As I write, police have dealt with 447 family violence matters today. That’s one day on average. That’s one every two minutes and around 5,000 per week.
But even once the police are called, we’re still not safe and have to go through the Family Court system. Not only is the system expensive, it’s not accessible for Indigenous Australians or people who have English as a second language.