Waiving separation period of divorce where domestic violence has occurred.
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Domestic violence has been part of my life for longer than I care to admit. My father would fight with my mother on a regular basis. Often, it was very heated and would end up in some form of physical violence. A punch, a slap, throwing things - or her - against the wall.
He would come into our room and emotionally manipulate us so that we would beg him to stay. Things would be ok for a while, then the cycle would start again. That cycle of abuse all suffers get caught up in.
I remember being 12 and it was the same old story. I said to him, "Go on, do it then, kill yourself, I don't care anymore." I'll never forget that moment in my life, where I then became the punching bag.
I was 16 when I hid my brother and sister in my wardrobe, calling the police through muffled tones. I thought for sure he would kill her. The police arrived 3 hours later, I'm thankful they act a lot quicker today.
When I was 18, my parents had a massive fight, I got in between them and my dad was so furious. I remember running down the drive way to get away from him. He was quicker than me and hit me so hard on the back of the head I blacked out. He then dragged me back inside for disobeying him. Suffice to say, I moved out the following week.
I was 17 when I first started dating my husband. I remember vividly after dating for a couple of months, he punched me in the arm for something I said to him. I thought to myself, "You are never to be with someone who hurts you like your dad did to your mother." Except my subconscious had gotten so used to this kind of treatment that I let it continue. The brainwashing, the "I'm sorry, I'll do better," sucked me in time and time again. He was always SO emotional, I never knew which person I would get. But when he was nice, I loved him, so it blinded me from his toxic bahaviour. While we argued a lot, the physical violence happened maybe twice a year. How sad that I can justify that! We got married at 20, baby at 24, and at 27 when he threatened me with a machete, strangled me so that I nearly died and punched me so hard I bruised all over my backside, I knew that I couldn't do it anymore.
I reported him to the police, they discribed the event as one of the worst they've seen and he was arrested. I got an AVO, which is nice in theory but does little when they are allowed off on bail by a magistrate and his charges were not addressed in a timely manner.
My biggest issue - and what I want to petition today - is that I have to wait 12 months before I can divorce the man who abused me. 12 months of his manipulation and control. That is not fair. That is exactly why women/men go back to their partners because they get brainwashed time and time again. I'm asking for a no waiting period. I want to be divorced from my abusive husband now, so he no longer has any control over me. How can we make a stand when everything is in their favour?
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