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Port Moresby
November 28, 2021
Life

Growing up as a child of domestic violence

Image Source: Brooklyn Reader

This is a true story based on real life experiences to educate, survivors of Domestic Violence (DV), children affected by DV and men who commit DV. While you beat your wife/partner, or you try to be quiet about your suffering, your children are silently watching and suffering, maybe more than you.

They say some of the biggest victims of DV are the smallest, I was and here’s my story.

 

We have always been that regular happy family. My childhood days were spent in a happy home. My siblings and I grew up having everything we wanted, a good home, nice home cooked meals, bicycles, video games, fun and laughter and above all love. We went for family vacations together; we were just that perfect happy family. But somewhere, somehow everything changed. The memories of those nights I’d hear my mother cry and my father screaming, are still so vivid.

Never in a million years did I ever think they would end up that way.

I’m 26 now, and I still to this day, do not understand what went wrong.

Things became apparent when I was in primary school and my father would come home most nights drunk. I did not understand why he would get angry at my mother but I would lock myself in my room with my hands on my ears and just cry. That rage that took control of my dad would make him use knives, iron bars and basically anything hard and sharp on my mother.

One night I came out of my room after the noise subsided and found my mother lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. I thought she was dead. I tried to be as quiet as possible so as not to wake my father. I cried with my mother as we cleaned up the mess. She refused to go to the hospital, so we dressed her wounds at home.

In the morning, my father woke up and pretended that nothing had happened the night before.

Some days if I my father did not arrive home after work. I would find everything sharp and heavy in the house and hide them, just so my father wouldn’t be able to find anything to hurt my mother.

I found it hard to understand, that just the night before you beat the lady you say you love, almost to death, and today you buy her band aids and dressings for her wounds and play happy family in front of everyone. Then next week the whole cycle would repeat. My mother went from a cast on her arm to so many bruises and scars that are still visible today.

My mother is the strongest woman I know.

No child would ever wish for their parents to get a divorce, but I did. I even prayed every day for my parents to get a divorce. My mother, I assumed held on to her marriage with my father because of us children.

Back then there wasn’t much awareness on domestic violence, and I guess we were all scared and embarrassed to come out and say something.

I was just a teenager during that period of my life but I started questioning religion and if our God really exists, because I prayed to him every night asking him to stop my parents from fighting. I thought that if God created us, then why would he make us suffer like this? He loves us right? But why? All these questions. I almost gave up on school; I sat in class most days in a daze.

My mother eventually left my father after more than five years of living in a violent marriage. I don’t know about my siblings but I was so confused during that period. I was happy she was free from all that abuse, but I knew we would never be that happy family we once were, ever again.

I’m not proud of my dad for what he has done to my mother those years back, but I will always love him unconditionally. I’ve forgiven him but I cannot erase those memories that haunt me every time I hear or see domestic violence.

I know that pain, the heart break and the nightmares that come with it. I lived with that for over five years.

They say, No women should ever hold on to her marriage and go through domestic violence because of her children, I would agree. My mother carried all our burdens through her bruises and scars that no mother should have.

We all suffered, my mum both physically and emotionally.

It will take a very long time to get over this emotional pain.

 

If you are experiencing any form of violence, know that it is your right to be free from all types of abuse. Seek help. Below is a list of contact details of places you can go to for help.

Organisation

Contact person Location (s) Contact details

Organisation Aims

Family and Sexual Violence Unit (FVSU) for Abusive and Rape Incidents

 

 

 

 

 

SENIOR Constable Ms Julianne Epe / Constable C.Soni

 

Boroko 344229/000 mob: 71527644 Deals with criminal cases; sexual abuse and domestic violence.

(Transportation for survivors are often provided)

 

 

 

 

First Constable Mary Thomas Badili  3217088 / 76150177
Stg. Peter Aimm Waigani 3244301 / 70344899
Human Trafficking    

 

Toll Free: 71007777 Deals with cases of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and peoples smuggling.
1 Tok Kaunselin    

 

 

Toll Free: 71508000 Toll-free confidential Phone Counselling service providing information and support for Family experiencing sexual violence in PNG
Family Support Centre Tessie Soi 3 Mile (opposite POM GEN) On Call: 70945283 mob: 71687557 Ph: 3248246 Medical and Psychological Service – provide free medical treatment for ALL survivors for Family and Sexual Violence and Child Abuse.
Port Moresby – City Mission Headquarters Koki (Shelter & Counseling) Admin Manager: Dorothy Koch Koki Ph: 3200606/3200166 Mob: 7030085/71471518 Houses, feeds and offers spiritual direction to trouble young men on the streets of Port Moresby
Lifeline PNG Mary Waigani Phone: 326 0011 Phone counseling for survivor of domestic violence
Police Stations Front Desk Officers on duty Gordons Police Station 3251823 PNG Law gives police and the courts the power to provide you with immediate protection at any time of the day or night.
Six Mile Police Station 3251402
Gerehu Police Station 3260255

 

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