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Survivor tells of domestic terror

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
VideoBunbury White Ribbon Day

A South West woman has bravely told of the abuse she endured over more than a decade at the hands of two separate partners.

The Donnybrook mother took to the stage at Friday’s White Ribbon Day ceremony in Bunbury where she silenced the 300-strong crowd making a stance against domestic violence.

The crowd makes its way through Bunbury's CBD as part of the White Ribbon Day march.
Camera IconThe crowd makes its way through Bunbury's CBD as part of the White Ribbon Day march. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

The 48-year-old shared her emotional and touching story in the hope of getting through “to just one person”.

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“I really am lucky, I always say how lucky I really am compared to a lot of other women and children,” the woman told the Bunbury Herald.

The community lay wreaths and sprigs or rosemary at the ceremony.
Camera IconThe community lay wreaths and sprigs or rosemary at the ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Fighting back tears in front of a big crowd, she told how she was dragged by her hair, punched and strangled by an ex-partner.

She said it was important to share her story on a day that recognised violence against women was not OK.

“If it gets through to one ... just to get the message out there and that it is very, very important,” she said.

The oath is read aloud in unison.
Camera IconThe oath is read aloud in unison. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

“Seeing how this (White Ribbon Day) has grown over the last seven years I’ve been going – it’s just getting bigger so that means it’s getting out there more.”

The march through the CBD was led by men who joined in solidarity to make a stance against domestic violence.

A massive crowd pays its respects at Bunbury's White Ribbon Day ceremony.
Camera IconA massive crowd pays its respects at Bunbury's White Ribbon Day ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

South West family protection unit officer-in-charge Sgt Don McLean said he had been involved in the event for the past 10 years and it just kept growing.

“The event was fantastic as far as community support goes, it’s the largest numbers we’ve seen here in the South West for White Ribbon Day,” Sgt McLean said.

South West family protection unit officer-in-charge Sgt Don McLean reads some shocking statistics at the ceremony.
Camera IconSouth West family protection unit officer-in-charge Sgt Don McLean reads some shocking statistics at the ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

“It’s great to see community members, especially the men out there, standing up and saying ‘no, we don’t agree with what’s been happening’.”

The woman’s words of advice were to “reach out, there’s so many places and you’ll get looked after and you too should have that freedom again”.

The crowd makes its way through Bunbury's CBD as part of the White Ribbon Day march.
Camera IconThe crowd makes its way through Bunbury's CBD as part of the White Ribbon Day march. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

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