real life

The 3 shocking DV stories our nation's leaders need to know about today.

This is everything they need to know.

Today, the most powerful people in the country will at the Council of Australian Governments. According to their agenda, they will be briefed on the domestic violence epidemic confronting our nation.

But the truth is, everything our leaders need to know is quite simple. They just need to know about the pain, about the fear and about the grief. Over the last ten days, Australia’s first royal commission into family violence has heard some of these stories.

These three tell our governments everything they need to know to make this a national priority:

Content warning: This post deals with family violence and sexual assault and may be distressing for some readers.

1. A woman was told by police she would need a “bullet in the brain” before they would intervene, despite intervention order.

A woman whose husband threatened to kill himself and their children so she could “never see them again” said she endure years of psychological and emotional abuse at his hands.

She said she reported her former husband – who chased her in a car at least three times and attempted to run her off the road – to police numerous times for breaching his intervention order, but he never got so much as a warning call.

“A police officer advised me that unless I had a ‘bullet in my brain or a knife in my stomach’ they would not intervene, even though I had an intervention order,” she said.

“The officer advised that they needed concrete evidence otherwise they risked taking a matter to court and losing it.”

“In my experience I felt that was laughed off and ignored.”

2. A man who repeatedly raped his disabled wife – prompting her to attempt suicide – was then allowed to collect her from the hospital.

A disabled woman was repeatedly raped in her sleep by her husband (who was also her carer) over a decade of abuse, which culminated in an attempt to kill herself after she was assaulted four times in one week.

“I took an overdose. I didn’t feel that there was any other way out from the relationship that I was in and the situation I was in, and I couldn’t handle it anymore,” she said.

“He left me knowing that I’d taken an overdose and left me on the floor to die.”


She told emergency department doctors about the abuse, but said she would not report her husband to police for fear of not seeing her children again, The Guardian reports.

Her husband was allowed to pick her up from hospital and later admitted the abuse to child protection workers.

“He just said, ‘Yeah, I’ve done that. So what? All husbands do this and I can’t guarantee that I won’t do it again,'” the woman said.

3. An abusive partner laughed with the police, while a mother and her children were forced to sleep in their car.

A mother of four whose husband repeatedly raped and bashed her says she heard police laughing with her attacker after she called them for help.

The woman said her controlling husband kept the phone in a padlocked room, telling her she couldn’t use it because she was meant to be looking after the house, not talking all day, the ABC reports.

The woman and their four children were forced to sleep in a car outside the man’s work while he worked nightshifts, she said.

She said when she reported the abuse to police, she heard them laughing while interviewing her husband.

Her husband told her: “All I have to do is tell them ‘You understand women, they’re irrational, they overreact sometimes’.”

“It just made me feel so much more isolated, so small in my own home,” she said.

She said she and her kids were homeless for a year after she couldn’t find crisis accommodation in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

“I explained I had four children and I was offered the chance to pick which two of my children stay with me,” she said.

These are the Australian women who allegedly lost their lives to domestic violence this year:

If you’re experiencing sexual assault or domestic or family violence, call the 1800 RESPECT 24-hour national helpline on 1800 737 732.

For more on domestic violence, try these articles:

Children’s brains changed by severe family violence, royal commission hears.

Three days in a refuge: Inside a safe haven from domestic violence.

Today, we remember Phil Walsh and all of the victims of family violence.

Lisa Oldfield admits: “I’ve been a victim of domestic violence and I’m angry”