When Geraldine Bilston met her partner she was very much in love and thought that her relationship would end up being the fairy tale romance she always dreamed of. However flash forward a couple of years later with a young two year old daughter, Geraldine realised after enduring many experiences and changes in her partners behaviour that she was in the midst of a family violence relationship.
Over a long time deliberating whether to stay or to leave, and being fearful of what that actually meant for her and her young daughter, one night her partner became physically violent towards her. This wasn’t the first time he had been violent, however this time Geraldine realised she needed to escape this situation, not only for herself, but for her young child.
In this conversation with Geraldine we discuss the effects of living in a family violence situation. We talk about Geraldine’s experiences and the effect that this had on her relationships with those around her, including her perpetrator and her daughter Katie. We discuss the barriers for women and men seeking assistance who are in a family violence relationship and where you can get help if this is you or someone that you love. This conversation is really important, as the incidence of family violence in Australia is still so high, and through our collective voices, and sharing these stories we can make a difference.
We wanted to launch this podcast this week due to the Run Against Violence campaign which kicks off yesterday 30th August. We wanted our voices to be heard along-side that campaign. It is only when we raise our voices in this way that others can hear and see what women and men who are in the midst of family violence are going through, and how collectively we can make a difference.
Please share this conversation with those that you know and love.
If you find this conversation difficult, or if there is someone in your family or network that you know that is dealing with family violence, please contact:
Nation wide assistance;
or Find the below support services at the following link: https://www.dss.gov.au/women/help-is-here-campaign
Victoria specialist service;
NSW specialist service;
NT specialist service;
Darwin Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Shelter
8945 2284 (24 hours)
QLD specialist service;
South Australia specialist service;
Tasmania specialist service;
Western Australia specialist service;
Legal services (Australia-wide)
MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns, including issues of violence.
The Men’s Referral Service is a men’s family violence telephone counselling, information and referral service for men using or at risk of using violent or controlling behaviour.
Geraldine joined RMA in 2014, ran first half marathon at the Gold Coast in 2014, and full marathon in Melbourne also in 2014. Geraldine left an abusive relationship in early 2015, and has been working and volunteering as a family violence advocate for the past 3 and a half years. In in January 2020 Geraldine joined the Victorian Government’s Victim Survivor Advisory Council, and was appointed Deputy Chair in May 2020.
Geraldine has appeared on ABC’s “You Can’t Ask That” in 2019, and ABC’s Q & A in March 2020.
You can find out more about Geraldine on Instagram @gez_bilston or on her website https://geraldinebilston.com/
To find out more about Run Against Violence, please head to https://www.runagainstviolence.com