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Rebecca's story

Rebecca's story

Rebecca's story

I fell in love and it was magic at first.

Three months into it there was a misunderstanding my girlfriend completly over-reacted, screaming at me & swearing.

I knew then I should leave, there was no respect for my feelings, she couldn’t / wouldn’t hear my experience. Her angry outbursts & over-reactions over the slightest thing continued, there was always an apology but no behaviour change. I would be hung up on if I ‘confronted’ things, she threw things in her rage and I was left feeling I had to walk on eggshells.

She criticised my friends & family, and called me stupid & pathetic because I’d tell her I was afraid of her.

If I said I was going to leave she would physically hurt herself. I could see she was ill, but it took me 2 years to realize I COULDN’T FIX HER.

I constantly felt afraid, manipulated & controlled by her threats, outbursts, and mood swings.


How I coped

After 18 months of abuse and holding all my anger in I got physical with her, I just wanted her to be decent. I grabbed her throat briefly but realized I had crossed over. Holding all my hurt in made me physically sick & act against my own values, I was ashamed, my self esteem was zero. I withdrew from my friends and felt depressed. The assertive women I was who went into the relationship had allowed herself to be controlled.


How the situation changed

I kept saying I would leave if her behaviour didn’t change. I had to go as far as I went but one day another fight had started, I felt ashamed as we were in a public place. In that moment I KNEW IT WAS OVER. I went away for a few days, rang her & said it was over, moved out. We had been to counselling together, and though a lot of her abusive behaviour had changed, I still felt unhealed & there was still an underlying feeling of being controlled, and I didn’t want it .


What helped me to get stronger

When people at work & others began to ask me if I was in a healthy relationship, I couldn’t deny it. My friends were concerned about my deteriorating health, so I got help for that. First, I got honest, then had the courage to leave once I felt better. I had people who knew me b4 the relationship, & knew I wasn’t the same person.


What I would say to someone who is being abused

Don’t punish yourself – I never thought I’d be in an abusive relationship but I WAS. Then I thought I’d never get out because I was scared, & stuck. Help is at hand, get honest – someone can tell you how much they love you, but love is an action.

You deserve better, there is a goldmine in all of us under hurt, take the journey to heal. Abusive behaviour from someone else is never your fault.


Related links

  • If you are in danger call 000 or contact the police in your state or territory.
  • For confidential crisis support in Victoria, information and accommodation please call the safe steps 24/7 family violence response line on 1800 015 188. If it is unsafe to call, email
  • For confidential phone help and referral in Australia, please contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732, the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line.
  • For a specialist LGBTIQ family violence service in Victoria, please contact W|Respect on 1800 LGBTIQ (1800 542 847) or visit
  • For support for men, call Men's Referral Service on 1300 766 491.