Jimmy Bartel is a champion sports star. He plays for the Geelong Cats, he’s a Brownlow Medallist, a Norm Smith Medallist and has played in three premiership games.
He’s also a victim of domestic abuse.
His father Terry routinely verbally and physically abused him, his mum, and two sisters.
Bartel has opened up to the Herald Sun about growing up in a violent household, and the impact this had on him.
Terry Bartel was a gifted sportsman himself, who Jimmy says is a man you would want to “hang around with at the pub” but not have as a father.
Despite being young, Bartel remembers vividly violent scenes around the home.
“I remember Mum being on the floor in the hallway; he had repeatedly hit her, and she was trying to crawl away from him. I remember Olivia (eldest sister) trying to push him away from Mum, and he physically threw her against the wall, like a rag doll, which is hard to comprehend.”
He and his family lived in fear.
As a new father himself, it’s clear that Bartel is determined to influence change in the community.
“Everything you do and the decisions you make are about how you can help your kids.”
His parents separated when he was still a baby, and although his mum tried to help him have a relationship with his father, they didn’t have much of a relationship.