Domestic abuse victim chases pro Muay Thai fighter dream

Domestic violence victim Jaquie Lait wants to become a professional muay thai fighter to raise funds for and awareness of domestic violence.
Domestic violence victim Jaquie Lait wants to become a professional muay thai fighter to raise funds for and awareness of domestic violence. Megan Masters

AS Jaquie Lait lay in hospital preparing for the birth of her daughter, she had to face the fact that she might not survive the prolonged physical abuse inflicted by her former partner.

The doctor had informed her that even with a blood transfusion she had, at best, a 50% chance of surviving the birth.

After eight months in and out of hospital, often being readmitted with new injuries only hours after being discharged, Ms Lait was at her lowest point.

It was only the knowledge that her child might have to grow up without a mother that gave her the determination she needed to get out of the abusive relationship.

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She moved to Toowoomba and started a new life, but knew many others never take that step because often the pain of staying seems better than the uncertainty of leaving.

Ms Lait said nine years after escaping that hopeless situation, she had found a love of fighting and wanted to use it to help others fight back from abuse.

She runs the domestic violence wing of Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia and has been working her hardest at Smithy's Gym to get the skills to become a professional Muay Thai fighter as a way of raising awareness.

"I knew it was my time to make big noise for something I believe in and do something to inspire the world," she said.

"I think it's important that more people speak out about it so that others learn they don't have to be ashamed or embarrassed about what they have gone through, because it is real and there are so many people out there ready to help."

Domestic violence facts

  • A woman is more likely to be killed in her home by her male partner than anywhere else or by anyone else
  • Of women who experienced partner violence since the age of 15, some 36% reported experiencing violence from a previous partner during pregnancy; 18% experienced domestic violence for the first time while they were pregnant (ABS survey)
  • If you are experiencing domestic violence, call 000 in an emergency or 1800RESPECT (1800737732), a national counselling line


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