A Tasmanian author has finally been able to come forward to tell her personal story to support family violence victims.
Deborah Thomson found the peaceful life she always wanted in Chasm Creek, on the North Coast of Tasmania, but it took her a long time to get there. Deborah Thomson has written a book about what happened when her life was changed irrevocably by an abusive partner, a relationship which she went on to endure for 17 years.
Whose Life is it Anyway? Recognising and Surviving Domestic Violence published by Brolga Publishing, aims to support other people being impacted by abusive partners. “I have written this book to help others in similar situations to leave early in their relationship, before they too suffer debilitating trauma,” stated Deborah Thomson author of the new book. “Since leaving I have come to realise how debilitating trauma is when associated with staying in a long-term violent partnership. Lived experience has shown me that such trauma can take half a lifetime to resolve,” explains Ms Thomson.
Alina Thomas, CEO of Family Violence service SHE, says that Deborah’s experience is not uncommon. “Trauma is an inevitable consequence of long term abusive relationships. We see hundreds of women, every year in Tasmania who are left with physical and emotional symptoms of trauma due to ongoing abuse in relationships.”
The courage of women who have survived Family Violence can give hope to other people experiencing family violence as well as be a source of inspiration to the broader community. Family Violence advocate Rosie Batty changed the way that Australia responded to family violence and our local advocates say there is still a lot that needs to happen. As Author Deb Thomson explains, “we need to do whatever we can to keep the issue of DV in the public's notice while simultaneously supporting victims in whatever way possible”.
Alina Thomas believes there needs to be a greater investment in primary prevention and early intervention. “In Tasmania we are very focused on a tertiary response, what the police and the courts do after the violence has occurred. But if we are going to see a reduction in the family violence epidemic we need to be investing in programs that target the problem before it escalates to this point,” stated Ms Thomas.
Deborah Thomson’s book Whose life is it Anyway will be launched by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC at Fullers Bookshop on Wednesday 18th April at 5.30pm.