The following is an anonymous reader submission detailing their account of living in a domestic violence situation.

I am a survivor of 23 years of Domestic Violence.

It is finally being brought out into the open and people are becoming aware of the extent of the problem.

Unfortunately there are many cases out there that no one knows about.

People in these situations become very good at hiding it as I did. If someone were to know you would be in bigger trouble so you also covered up.

If there were visible bruises you wore clothing to cover them. If they were on the face you didn't go out. 

My family didn't have a clue as I was kept away from them for years, at times there was no contact for several years, them not knowing where I was.

I had no friends as was not allowed as they may have found out and my time away from the home was monitored at all times.

Domestic Violence has been seen as something from the poorer end of society. Wrong.

It has been thought of as something dirty and not spoken about and you then felt this way. I still have trouble telling anyone now and only very few people are aware and no one is aware of how bad it was.

I would like to reach out to those out there that are hiding the violence that is happening in fear of it making it worse.

I know where you are at - I was at the point of suicide but my two children stopped me taking that path.

When I finally made the break the repercussions for the next several years were terrible.

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No one can prepare you if they haven't been through it themselves. I have listened to people saying "why do women stay in these situations". If only it was that easy.

They have full control of your mind and everything within your world.

On the up side I have been away from this situation for 17 years now. Still have nightmares, have trouble in trusting but my children are excelling in their lives and that makes it all worth while. I work in the corporate world where no one has a clue where I have come from.

The publicity is great but we need to reach those that are in fear of anyone knowing. They are in greater danger as they think they are in a hopeless situation with no way out.

If you are in this situation there is hope keep fighting and make a break. Don't worry about "things" - I left with a bag of clothes. Your sanity and life are more important than worldly possessions

If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic or family violence or sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit http://www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000


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