Voices of Resistance was a project that documented four women’s resistance and responses to the violence they experienced. The project participants supported the development and prototyping of the interview process for Insight Exchange through the sharing of their resistance and responses to violence. The result of the prototyping phase is an interview process with clear protocols and steps that provides a structure for an interview that affirms agency, is safe ethical and upholds a person’s dignity.
These are their narratives of their resistance and responses to violence:
“I’ve tried to leave him that many times. I’ve left houses. I’ve fled and lost heaps of my stuff, I lost my drums. It was pretty heart breaking losing my instruments because it’s what keeps me sane; it’s my pulse and my passion.”
“I did a lot of behind-the-scenes thinking in my head. It was planning to manage the outcomes as best I could in order to stay as safe as possible. I did little things like buying the right brand of butter, even though it’s not what I liked, but it meant that he wouldn’t throw it at the wall, or at me. This was me taking back power and taking control to avoid the violence and verbal abuse.”
“Leaving is hard and scary. The complexity of everything you have to navigate on top of processing the abuse is overwhelming.”
“When my daughter was born, there was this fresh kind of something that took over me, that said “you do have the strength, you are going to do this and you are going to do this effectively.’ At that point I started thinking about my exit strategy and started to share it with a few people.”
As a man working with men to end their violence I found your stories so profound and insightful. I will carry these into my work with men and hope to support them to develop greater empathy and insights into the impacts of their behaviour on the women and children in their lives. Thank you so much for your courage and strength. I am continually inspired by the women who continue to contribute to the cause of ending men’s violence. It’s time more men stood beside you in this, and you’ve inspired me to continue toward that goal.
Luke Addinsall | Clinical Specialist | Men and Family Centre