Ending abuse not as easy as it happens

By EMMA CORNFORD

ecornford@dailyexaminer.com.au

WHEN Maclean resident Nina was in an abusive relationship years ago, she found it difficult to leave or even recognise that she needed help.

After being hospitalised and spending three years without her now 11-year-old child as a result, she found another partner.

Through what she learned by being in an abusive relationship she was able to keep a healthy relationship and communicates with him on a regular basis even after their seven-year relationship ended.

It is this ability to communicate which Nina hopes Clarence Valley residents will be able to embrace after visiting the Family Harmony Day this Friday at the Maclean Civic Centre in River Street.

"I really do think I'm a success," said Nina, who is now a helper at the Maclean Women's Resource Centre.

"I want people to look at domestic violence ... and say it's not a good thing.

"The idea about this day is that it can help people find ways to communicate before it gets to the stage where relationships totally fall apart, because some relationships can be saved ? people just need to know where to go."

Family Harmony Day is one of the activities organised as part of the international Stop Violence Against Women campaign, which is running in Australia until December 10.

One of the themes of the campaign is to take action to combat violence towards women.

"It rings true to me ... be- cause people need to know where to get help if they need it," Nina said.

"But it's hard, when you're in a relationship like that, to recognise that your situation is bad enough that you need to get help."

Nina said she would encour- age anyone in an abusive relationship of any kind to 'talk to someone they can trust'.

nThe Family Harmony Day will run from 10am until 2pm on Friday, with stalls, information and plenty of activities for the kids.



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