Assaults, threats, sexual abuse a blight on Gladstone

By NATALIE PEUTnataliep@gladstoneobserver.com.au

LIFE is like living in a jail, according to one victim of domestic violence.

The Gladstone woman has lived to tell the tale about a former partner who continues to stalked and verbally threaten her.

She claims he has attempted to run her over in his car.

The woman phoned The Observer last week following a story about the rise in text abuse on mobile phones.

She claimed she received up to 100 messages some days from her former partner of eight months.

The Gladstone Women's Health Centre believes similar cases of abuse and sexual harassment are common in our community and around Queensland.

WOMEN'S Health Centre spokesperson Jenny Lunan said a lot of people were able to get out of abusive relationships, but found they were still subjected to verbal abuse.

She said the verbal abuse could be through the form of phone calls, letters or text messages.

Jenny said the centre saw a number of people in this situation, but there was still a lot more out there living with the abuse.

"I encourage people to seek help and not be afraid to talk about it,'' she said.

"We provide qualified counsellors specific to sexual harassment and domestic violence.''

She said the Women's Health Centre worked towards providing a safe environment for victims, where they could talk about what they had been through without feeling judged.

Jenny said depression was one of the major effects of this form of harassment.

"Depression is just one of the ongoing effects which a lot of them are trying to overcome,'' she said.

"It's so important that they turn off phones, don't answer their home phones. Let it go to message bank for evidence and change their numbers.

"It's so important they avoid verbal contact with the people as much as possible.



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