Tomorrow is International Women’s Day and for me, it is a day to look at my life and celebrate how far I have come. Healing and rebuilding my life after a lifetime of abuse has been a difficult and at times lonely road.

We have come so far!

As a businesswoman, I am both grateful and amazed at how far we have come when it comes to facing up to and dealing with the appalling rates of domestic violence.

The thought that businesses and Government would be actively trying to mitigate the impact of domestic violence on their employees by implementing policies and training was unheard of a little as a decade ago – probably much less.

Attitudes are changing

Attitudes are changing slowly but it is gaining speed. When I think about some of the things said to me:

When I talked about him being jealous and controlling

  • What did you do to provoke him?
  • What were you wearing?
  • Who were you with?
  • Did you invite him along
  • Were you flirting?

When I talk about how hard it is to leave an abusive marriage and the fact it took me six attempts

  • I don’t understand why didn’t you just leave and stay gone?
  • I just wouldn’t put up with it I am not the type.
  • I’d have too much self-respect
  • If it was that bad you wouldn’t have gone back.
  • How did you not realise what was happening?
International Women’s Day a day to focus on equality!

Days like International Women’s Day have meant attention and focus were on equality, and equality for women is good for everybody. Because where there is an imbalance of power it is a negative thing for everyone, except those who hold the power.

Victim blaming must stop

Society blaming the victim, whether in a domestic violence situation or in society at large, the ones who hold the power and control are the ones who win because it suits them to have the conversation drawn elsewhere.

Me Too and Time’s Up

2017 saw systemic shifts in the way the power dynamics in the world are both viewed and reacted to. The Me Too and Time’s Up movement has meant victims are being taken seriously and for the first time listened to, in most part without blamed or shamed.

We are living in times of great change and it is heartening power imbalances are crumbling. We still have a long way to go and we must stay the course, but on International Women’s Day 2018 I will be celebrating how far we have come.

Safety in the home is everyone’s right.

I hope you are in a position to enjoy International Women’s Day and feel safe and, if you don’t remember, safety in the home is everybody’s right and there is support out there.

By changing the culture, we can save lives