My Survival Story.
My name is Sheree. I am an educator, wife, daughter, sister, friend and a survivor of domestic violence. I can proudly say this because one female dies each week at the hands of her current or former partner.
As a child, I witnessed my own mother get abused by her partner for many years, to the point where I felt as though I could become a murderer during those frightful moments, at the age of nine. I had four younger siblings that I needed to protect and take care of when my Mum was in a sensitive state. By the age of ten, I knew how to cook, clean and take care of my family. Of course, this made me grow up extremely quickly and before I knew it, I had lost my childhood.
Unfortunately, without being aware of it for a long time, I continued this family cycle and entered into an abusive relationship at the young age of sixteen. At first, the relationship was incredible and I thought I had found my soulmate. Although soon enough, the abuse began. It wasn’t just physical abuse, it was emotional, verbal, mental and sexual. I endured sixteen years of this nightmare. The abuse I had suffered has left me emotionally and mentally scarred. Since this, I have been diagnosed with PTSD and I now have ongoing treatment with my psychologist.
Whilst in this relationship, I had 2 beautiful children. Sadly, they witnessed the abuse their own father handed me along with all the other illegal things he took part in. Eventually, one day I finally realised the courage that I needed to break this cycle. The cycle that I had entered as a child, so the both wouldn’t fall into this toxic cycle themselves. I needed my children to know what a loving, respectful relationship looked like and felt like. Most importantly, I wanted them to know that real love doesn’t hurt you.
My daughter is now a teenager and it has made me realise that she is only a few years off the age I was when I met her father. It scares me that she could potentially get into the same type of relationship I was in. I never want another young person to go through what I went through.
With this being said, I am now wanting to be the voice for domestic violence. It has taken me a very long nineteen years to be able to speak out about my abuse and what I went through. I am wanting to let other women and men out there know that you CAN get out! You CAN build yourself a better life and live the life you truly deserve.
I am wanting to get into high schools and other educational places to speak to the next generation of men and women, on what abuse really is, how to identify it and how to prevent it. How to have a respectful relationship and to know that abusing someone is wrong and the effects it can have on a person.