Domestic violence remains a significant concern that impacts negatively on the lives of our community. Not only those that are directly subjected to the violence and abuse. Can you image the horror of living every day expecting to be choked, beaten or killed by your spouse? Domestic violence is a common problem. This is real it happened to me. Your work collegue your friend your daughter and Mother. No two cases of domestic violence are the same. However all cases of domestic violence undermines the stability of a safe home environment. It destroys trust.
It erodes self-confidence and self-esteem. Everyone deserves the right to feel and be safe in the privacy their own home and their workplace. Domestic violence removes that safety and replaces it with terror. To describe the words hurt and betrayed is beyond what I endured. I would cry in the shower, on the floor under the kitchen sink. I would cry in the car park after I’ve dropped the kids off at school, I would cry in the supermarket. I felt stupid and a failure. I had no answers. So many times I would cry and ask God to help provide me an escape for the domestic abuse I was suffering.
Both mental and physical abuse. There were many times I feared for my life. I just remember feeling petrified and trapped. I wanted him to leave then, I asked him to. He refused. I was living in constant fear and began to believe that he wanted to kill me. I thought I was being paranoid but the fear was real. I had nightmares, and lived in a state of constant anxiety. But I never ever told anyone about the violence. I never thought it was relevant, I believed the problem was with me. When I attended hospital on numerous occasions I was always clumsy and accident prone.
It took a long time to get the courage to tell anyone about the horrific experiences I have been through. I was able to escape but not without the terror of being followed threaten and always on high alert of my security. I made the decision that I would now be free of this. To leave such a relationship is difficult enough, yet when you realise that everything is far from over it can take all your strength to survive and so much courage to leave. I walked out of our home with only my clothes. I always maintained a very professional image and nobody knew my pain and suffering.
They never knew the terror or fear I was living inn. The smile can hide many feelings. When you look around at your collegues just maybe now you may realise that everything may not be perfect in their lives so please don’t assume or make unfounded judgements. It’s time to ask them are you ok. So no I haven’t had a nervous breakdown. Or been sacked or ask to resign. But I really did appreciate the kind and caring texts I received thank-you. So please don’t judge me and talk about me behind my back. I don’t want sympathy I just want you to understand what I have been through.
This is a part of my recovery. By writing this letter it has helped me regain myself and understand that there is a life after living in domestic violence is a slow step by step process. There are no miraculous recoveries, it’s a journey that takes a long time. Just because you are out of a situation doesn’t mean all is well, there are so many new challenges and further abuses that make life difficult. The bruises go away and the red marks but the emotional scarring and the mental abuse always stay but you just learn to deal with it.
No one really understands domestic violence and the impact it has on your life until you have breathed it, lived it and come out of it, alive. You never fully recover from it, but I have become so much stronger from experiencing it. Now it’s time to move forward and give people a better understanding so they can offer assistance and help to others. Kind Regards Jayne Just prior to moving into a safe place I applied for a Driver testing position at Botany. I successfully won that position on my own merits. During my absence from the office moving my family into a new safe house.
I was at Westfield Hurstville doing some shopping. I ran into a work colleague who congratulated me on my new position. I asked the colleague how they knew as Thad told nobody but Nicki Louizos, Nicole Kennedy and Chris Tandy. My confidentiality was of the upmost importance to me. My colleague informed me that all my workmates knew of my position. But at this stage i had not been officially notified by HR. It was more than two weeks before HR told me about the new position. I then was called into the Manager’s office which I believed was going to a catch up and to meet our new Manager Adrian.
But how mistaken I was. Chris Tandy attacked me for applying to Adrian for holidays and not telling him that about my new appointment. Chris called me deceitful. I than explained Thad not been officially told about my new position. I also could not take the position at Botany due to the fact that Chris Tandy was going to be my new Manager and felt threaten and victimized by him. I had previously worked with Chris Tandy at Bondi. It was not a pleasant experience. This year we have heard so many deaths due to domestic violence. Unless you have experienced domestic violence you have no idea of the fear.
Service NSW code of Conduct has a clause about Domestic Violence. But that’s what it is a paragraph of words written in the code of conduct. So I have included some additional information so Service NSW may gain a better understanding for Employees who suffer the unfortunate effects of Domestic Violence. Ludo McFerran, adjunct lecturer, Gender Related Violence Studies at the University of NSW, says it is a mistake for businesses to think domestic violence is a personal issue that doesn’t affect the workplace – all staff are affected. Victims of domestic abuse talk to their co-workers and often it is these people who try and help and this puts them at risk,” she says.
“We tell employers that domestic violence ends up costing them money through lost productivity but it also affects the safety of all staff. ” Jo Cavanagh, CEO of family services provider Family Life, says smaller business where people have more contact with each other offer a great opportunity to spot any indicators that someone might be experiencing problems at home or in their relationship. It’s a public health and safety issue and the first thing is to develop greater awareness,” she says. “If you see any signs that concern you, you need to ask whether someone is all right. It’s about breaking the silence on these issues. ” There are many resources available to help business, she says, but one of the things that does concern employers is they feel they need to get involved.
“But they don’t need to,” she says. “They just need to facilitate the contact with the people that can help their employees. Employers are just being asked to pay attention. After one of its employees was killed last year as a result of domestic violence, Family Life implemented a 24/7 employee assistance program for staff and their family members. “The need to speak up and ask for help is obviously harder for some people than others,” Cavanagh says. “People can feel ashamed and the idea behind the EAP is that it is confidential so people can feel confident about seeking help. Programs like this are something any business can do. ” Workplaces need information and discussions around handling this, she adds.
For many employers, the issue of domestic violence is a scary one and they don’t have a clue how to handle it,” she says. “When we speak with companies about it, we tell them that they are not expected to solve the issue but they need to be able to support their staff. ” On the 11th August | rang the Center to inform them I was unable to attend work. I went to the Doctors and was given a certificate not to attend work until the 18th August. I was extremely unwell very emotional and grave certain by the doctor for my wellbeing.
I phoned Adrian in the afternoon to inform I was not able to attend my workplace and I had a Doctors until the 18th August. He was not concerned about me or my health but reiterated I must attend the disciplinary meeting on Wednesday 12th August I told Adrian that I would not be attending that meeting as I was very ill. He then said ok and hung up. On the 18th August I got Aaron my son to phone the office and inform Adrian that I was not returning to work until the following Monday. Adrian asked my son to scan and email my certificates.
It wasn’t until the 31st of August at 6:05 when Adrian called my mobile and I was on loud speaker solam unsure of who was in his office that night because he never disclosed that information. But he told me that part of the award is for me to disclose my medical problem. Texplained that I was very unwell and suffering from a sore back. He then offered me to attend EAP. Which I declined because I had been going to my own medical treatment and Physiologist. So the duty of care from Service NSW was nonexistent.
Adrian was more concerned about me attending a disciplinary meeting then care about my wellbeing. The meeting was scheduled for 12th August but I was absence from work. At my expense I had solicitor reschedule the meeting. I was very distressed at text messages I was receiving from my work colleagues asking me have I had a nervous breakdown. I was also told that Steven Kwu best mates Chris Tandy that I was not returning to work at Service NSW. Sol wrote this letter to my work colleagues so they would have an understanding of my situation.