Personal Stories

As the Statistics page of this website shows, violence against women has an enormous impact on society. Behind the statistics, there are real stories.

Any violence against women is a violation of their basic human rights to be safe and live a life free from violence.

Sometimes the violence ends in death. Phil Cleary has written about his 25 year old sister, Vicki, being killed by her ex-boyfriend, Peter Keogh, who waited outside the kindergarten where she worked and stabbed her to death when she arrived for work.  

  • Read the transcript of Phil Cleary's 2003 interview 'Fighting for Justice' with the ABC's George Negus here.

Young Women's Stories

DVRCV's 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' website includes real stories from young women about their experiences in unhealthy and often violent relationships, including Carla's below. 

Carla’s Story:

What Happened: When we first met, he was everything a girl would want him to be, charming, funny, cute. He basically knew how to make everybody fall in love with him. As time went on, slowly he tried to control each aspect of my life.

Friends, school, even family, and I let him because I had never been in a serious relationship and I thought what he was doing was normal. He became my best friend and I believed everything he said. He would constantly tell me I was inadequate, that I didn’t care, that I was selfish and the cause of all our problems and I didn’t want to change.

What’s worse is that I believed him. Every problem he had, he blamed on me, and would always start fights. He was never happy, I was never good enough. He would threaten me, and use emotional blackmail to keep me where he wanted me. He would get angry over nothing, punch walls and blame it all on me. I always thought he would suddenly wake up, but he never did. In his eyes nothing is ever his fault.

How I coped: My family all banded together and helped me come out of it with a plan. He is a very dangerous person and would stalk my home, so the plan is to get away from home and school for two weeks. I’m going to stay with a relative who lives a while away, change my mobile number and hope to avoid him for as long as possible. The support that everybody is giving me is amazing, even people I thought I had lost are still here for me.

What helped me: Although he never physically touched me, he would threaten to hit me all the time. He knew exactly was what I was scared of, and although he would never actually do it, he would always threaten me with it to make me do what he wanted. It helps just knowing that I have everybody around me to help me through this and also that I know deep down that I don’t deserve any of this. I’m worth more than this and deserve more.

My advice to others: Don’t stand for it another day, try to distance yourself from it while you make your plan. You need a plan before you get out – I have broken up with him many times but he would blackmail or threaten me to get back with him. This time it’s do or die, I have everybody behind me.

If I can do it, you can too. You have nothing to lose, and will end up being a lot happier once you have done it.

Nobody deserves this, NOBODY! Everybody deserves to be treated as they want to be, and if that’s not happening, get away from the situation as soon as possible!

More Real Stories

To read more stories like Carla's, go to 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' or SECASA Youth.

New Technologies Abuse Stories

The American website That's Not Cool has a series of animated videos about (1) controlling and intrusive texting, (2) pressure for intimate photos to be sent by phone, and (3) breaking into personal social networking pages. Each scenario includes two videos, exploring different perspectives. Click here to access the 'Two-sided Stories'. There are also suggestions for dealing with abusive behaviour. The site has been sponsored and co-created in the USA by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the Office on Violence Against Women and the Ad Council.