Grace is a mother and grandmother, having lived in the suburbs and worked in retail most of her life, her kids moved interstate and after some time she experienced domestic violence whilst living with her new partner and was forced to leave. After sleeping in her car and occasionally couch surfing at a friend’s place for a number of months, she then found women’s refuge who could support her recovery and transition to her own housing.
She was recently asked to join a community sector peak body’s new lived experience bureau made up of people with lived experience of domestic violence to mentor others with lived experience; and share their unique story and perspective of lived experience to increase understanding of the issue and promote positive strategies for recovery and wellbeing. Grace is supported and provided training with peers by professional staff and prepare their presentations to suit the audience.
Grace loves to inspire and advocate, seeking to help create the positive change needed for other women to never experience domestic violence and associated issues such as homelessness. She finds from this experience that she has better recovered from her trauma and helping others do the same has helped her regain her confidence and happiness. She feels this experience will also assist him in future employment.