Domestic violence survivor finds peace at last
IF THERE is one word Hervey Bay's Judith Fischer hates, it's the word victim.
She thinks of herself as a survivor of domestic violence and these days, living the quiet and peaceful life she could only dream of before her husband's death, she refuses to be called a victim.
Judith was present at a forum held by the Fraser Coast Domestic Violence Alliance at the Hervey Bay Community Centre yesterday.
The forum brought together a range of legal and support services to discuss the issue and to come up with fresh ideas as to how to combat the problem, as well as sergeant Hayley Skyring from the Hervey Bay police.
Well presented and well-spoken, it's almost impossible to envision the hell Judith has been through.
She was living in a rural community at the time and remembers being terrified of her husband and his destructive behaviour.
When people talk to her about a cycle of violence, Judith can tell them she has lived through it.
Her grandmother and mother also suffered at the hands of violent husbands.
It wasn't until her husband died that Judith was finally free of him.
The ongoing fear and anxiety she felt has, however, taken a toll on her health and has left her unable to work.
Judith had a stroke as a result of the stress and also suffers from diabetes.
Now she lives by the sea in a small unit and does volunteer work.
When she goes home, she knows she has nothing to fear there.
Domestic violence alliance
- May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month
- The Fraser Coast Domestic Violence Alliance has been meeting for five years
- The forum gave the different services the opportunity to brainstorm ideas in order to combat the issue