I presented to your service in October 2019, every aspect of my life had fallen apart, I had just fled the state of Tasmania from a violent ex-partner and his brother, after an altercation which has left me scarred for life. I had lost care of my children due to the domestic violence, I was homeless, scared, and was too broken to be able to put what I was feeling into words. My mental health was out of control and I had been taking drugs to take the pain away. I also had outstanding Criminal Law matters in Tasmania.

I ceased taking drugs on the 21st October 2019 and have been clean and living a life free of drugs ever since.

With the support and strong advocacy skills of the DV West workers we managed to navigate our way through Housing and I secured a rental property at Windsor, however due to Tasmania Police releasing that address to my ex-partner, the After Hours team worked tirelessly to get me into one of your transitional properties in Penrith to again assure mine and my children’s safety.

They supported me to find a good GP that was able to communicate effectively between all of my specialists and actually be able to move forward instead of continuously going around in circles, my mental health is now stable and have learnt a number of different strategies to be able to cope and manage.

The staff supported me and helped me through the court process in Tasmania to get PFVO and AVO’s in place against the perpetrators. They also supported me throughout the finalisation of my criminal law matters and thank you largely to a letter of support from DV West staff and clean drug urinalysis and hair follicle testing, I was given a 2 year good behaviour bond.

In February 2020, I started Cert IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs, I finally feel like I have a purpose, I’d always felt a strong need to help other people, but through this course I am continuously learning the right way and how I can help other people, I created a project that involved developing a website that allows individuals and their families affected by AOD, to be able to share their stories and be given a voice. With the help of my AOD class the website, time2bheard.com was launched a couple of weeks ago and will remain an ongoing project, I have also completed 10 online training courses in addition to attending TAFE, relevant to the community services sector some of these include Triple P Parenting Program, Child Protection and Reportable Workplace Conduct, Understanding Men’s Violence Against Women, Trauma Basic’s for Youth Workers, Comorbidity – Management of co-occurring AOD and Mental Health conditions. I have a dream of helping people turn their lives around from AOD and Domestic violence.

I have also progressed in my family law matters involving my 2 eldest children and have satisfied the ICL acting for the children that I can now again provide them with a stable, safe and loving environment, we are going to mediation to draw up orders of consent for my 2 eldest children next week. I am in the process of lodging a notice of risk and an urgent application to the Family Law Courts in Hobart to have my youngest son returned to my care.

I look back over what I have managed to achieve in the past 9 months and am amazed by how far I have come, I feel like I have got my life back, I actually have hopes and dreams again but I know I couldn’t have turned my life around without the support and guidance that DV West has given me, particularly the time and efforts of the After Hours team. They are the most amazing, non-judgmental, supportive, empowering women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting