Warrior to Goddess contains stories from women who were controlled through fear. These stories from survivors illustrate violent behaviour is part of a range of tactics used by a perpetrator to exercise power and control … and can be both criminal and non-criminal in nature. This is courageous writing by women who have been maltreated by their partners.
This small booklet (56pp, staple bound, illustrated) contains narratives, stories, poems and smashed lives of women, children and families spilled all over its pages. There is raw telling of despicable behaviour by men, lies, subterfuge and evasions. There are women who cannot sleep due fear of when he comes home, there are children told not to be happy, there is yelling, violence, doors slamming and the pattern repeats itself.
This is a small booklet, with large type, simple poems, simple illustrations of what was hoped for, what was broken, what dreams were dashed by a controlling partner. They have suffered violence at the hands of those whom they loved.
This book was written as part of the healing of the women participating. It is written in the hope that their stories might help others who are experiencing family violence. This book was written in the hope that it would even save a life.
Warrior to Goddess was produced with help from the St Vincent de Paul Conference, St Mel’s Parish, Shepparton South, and the Touch Base Support Group. Marian Community and VincentCare Victoria provided these women with ongoing support and services.
Domestic violence includes:
- emotional abuse — blaming the victim for all problems in the relationship, undermining the victim’s self-esteem and self-worth through comparisons with others, withdrawing interest and engagement and emotional blackmail
- verbal abuse — swearing and humiliation in private and public, focusing on intelligence, sexuality, body image or the victim’s capacity as a parent or spouse
- social abuse — systematic isolation from family and friends, instigating and controlling relocations to a place where the victim has no social circle or employment opportunities and preventing the victim from going out to meet people
- economic abuse — controlling all money, forbidding access to bank accounts, providing an inadequate ‘allowance’, preventing the victim seeking or holding employment and taking wages earned by the victim
- psychological abuse — making threats regarding custody of children, asserting the justice system will not believe or support the victim, destroying property, abusing pets and driving dangerously
- spiritual abuse — denial and/or misuse of religious beliefs or practices to force victims into subordinate roles and misusing religious or spiritual traditions to justify physical violence or other abuse
- physical abuse — direct assaults on the body, use of weapons (including objects), assault of children, locking the victim out of the house, sleep and food deprivation, and
- sexual abuse — any form of pressured/unwanted sex or sexual degradation, causing pain during sex, coercive sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, making the victim perform sexual acts unwillingly and criticising or using degrading insults.
All these forms of domestic violence are described in the gaps between the words of these little stories. They are short stories that loom large in the imagination, and evoke eviscerating feelings and images.
If you have friends who are in a difficult relationship or you suspect there is abuse, get them a copy of this book. Only those who have been to hell can help someone else get out of hell; these stories are all stories of survivors. This book is available from the Marian Community, it can be ordered via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About VincentCare and the Marian Community
VincentCare was established to provide a range of professional accommodation and support services to people that are facing disadvantage and those that are ageing throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria.
VincentCare Victoria’s primary focus is to:
- provide quality services for the homeless, the aged, people with a disability, and men and women struggling with complex needs including substance abuse and mental health issues;
- advocate for vulnerable and disadvantaged people, respect their dignity and rights and understand their needs so as to provide them with support and encouragement and enable greater independence.
About Marian Community
VincentCare’s Marian Community in Shepparton provides support to women and children escaping family violence. Marian Community assists women and children who are experiencing, or have experienced family violence, to live safely and independently in the community. lt does this by responding to the individual needs of the client in a holistic way with a focus on providing them with real opportunities to make a path out of violent relationships. The service is primarily available within the City of Greater Shepparton, with outreach provided to Moira and Strathbogie Shires.
Services provided include:
Bsafe Personal Safety alarms
Safe @ Home Program funding and support
information and advice
financial and material aid
referral and support to achieve long term, secure housing
Marian Community also provides an enhanced after hours crisis service response to family violence in an expanded area that takes in the Local Government Areas of Greater Shepparton, Moira, Strathbogie, Mitchell and Murrindindi, thus servicing an area from the Murray River in the north to Wallan in the South.
To be eligible for assistance by Marian Community, you must be female and experiencing family violence.
Phone (Business Hours): (03) 5821 9458
Phone (After Hours): 1800 015 188
Fax: (03) 5822 2845
VincentCare was established to extend the Christian Mission of the St Vincent de Paul Society to support and advocate on behalf of the most disadvantaged Victorians.
To be the leader in providing care, hope and advocacy for those facing disadvantage.
To create opportunities and lasting change for the most marginalised.
Courage, Leadership, Accountability, Compassion, Excellence and Dignity.
Marian Community Profile
Marian House was established by the local conference of St Vincent de Paul in 1980 in response to a need for somewhere safe for women and children who had to leave their homes due to family violence. The service was run on a volunteer basis.
In 1986 the Society of St Vincent de Paul applied for and was granted government funding to facilitate the employment of paid staff. At this time, the founding volunteers became the commitment of management. In 1995, following a security breach, the original refuge house was closed and this resulted in the redevelopment of the service which was re-named, Marian Community.
In 1997, the State-wide Society took over management of Marian Community and in 2002 management came under the newly fomied entity, St Vincent de Paul — Aged Care and Community Services, now known as VincentCare.
Marian community assists women and children who are experiencing of have experienced family violence, to live safely and independently in the community. lt does this by responding to the individual needs of the client in a holistic way with a focus on providing them with real opportunities to make a path out of violent relationships.
The (business hours) service is primarily available within the City of Greater Shepparton, with outreach provided to Moira and Strathbogie Shires in a crisis capacity.
Services provided by Marian Community: crisis accommodation, secure refuge accommodation (please note: local women will not be put into a refuge in the same town for safety reasons), risk assessments and safety planning, information and advice, emotional support, financial and material aid, court support, advocacy, transport, social engagement, referral and support to achieve long temw, secure housing.
Marian Community also provides an after hours crisis service response to family violence in an expanded area that takes in the LGAS of Greater Shepparton, Moira, Strathbogie, Mitchell and Murrindindi, thus servicing an area from the Murray River in the north to Wallan in the South.
Marian Community offer BSafe Personal Alarms for women who are at high risk of further injury from their violent offender. These are available for clients with full intervention orders. Download a Flyer about BSafe Personal Alarms
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