My Painting’s title for the No Shame No Silence exhibition is 'Help Hands'.
My painting is of my own experience of being ‘in a dark place’ in a violent relationship where I was very lucky to get out alive. This is presented in the bottom third of the painting where we see the violent hands.
When the opportunity presented itself I escaped with the clothes on my back only. This is indicated in the middle third of the painting where I am reaching out for help.
In the top third of the painting you can see ‘helping hands’. These hands represent the services out there that are available for ‘help’. The hands are not really holding mine as they are ineffective. In my case the police lost files and even though they were trying to press criminal charges, he was able to escape the country. I had to pay $2000 for a protection order to be protected.
Even after three breaches of the protection order he was able to walk free after his lawyer made sexist and ageist remarks. All breaches were minimised.
I had no money and needed help from WINZ who re-traumatised me by constantly changing case workers and bully tactics. I did not receive enough money to survive on. I had to sell my house and all my assets (he had nothing) to reward the ex 25% even though he had tried to kill me as our relationship was just over three years.
The only real help for me was The Women’s Refuge.
This painting is an opportunity to show how I have healed and reclaimed myself.