Lauren Sailsbury is thriving and celebrating her freedom after fleeing from a domestic violence relationship ten years ago. Leaving with her two young children, Lauren settled in the Gladstone region and rebuilt her life. Lauren wants to encourage others who may be victims of domestic or family violence to have courage, and know that help and support are available. “I left with nothing but a bag of clothes,” Lauren explains. “We had to leave everything behind, family, friends, pets, everything.”
Lauren initially went to Blackwater but was soon placed in a domestic violence shelter in Gladstone. She said that it took a couple of years to really settle in, but the family have now made Gladstone their home. “There were a few places that helped us out to get to where we are now,” she said. “It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I want people who are suffering to know that it is possible to start again. I want people to know that even though it is hard, it is doable.”
Later this month Lauren will be hosting a party to celebrate 10 years of freedom from domestic violence. “Since leaving that situation we have come very far,” Lauren explained. She has invited family and friends along with representatives from Gladstone’s Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence group to her party. Lauren is passionate about sharing her story and encouraging victims to leave. “I want to show that no matter how hard it is to leave a DV relationship, it can be done, and you can make a new life,” she said.
Gladstone’s Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence is a not for profit organisation that focuses on providing education relating to the effects of domestic and family violence and works to promotes an abuse-free community. The organisation coordinates many programs including the Empowering Maintenance Program. At these workshops, a volunteer female mechanic teaches women the basics of car maintenance. These programs are held privately as well as publicly.
Lauren, who has participated in the Empowering Maintenance program said she had not only been provided with some excellent skills but a boost to her confidence also. “It was brilliant to be taught those things. Being able to do those tasks myself without having to rely on anyone else. I know that I can change a tyre without having to find someone to help me,” Lauren said.
For more information about the programs provided by Gladstone’s Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence visit their website http://www.gladstoneccrdfv.com.au/