FEELING CONNECTED TO OTHER PEOPLE HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON OUR LIVES
HUMAN CONNECTION IS THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTOR TO OUR HEALTH
When we feel connected to others, we start to change the way the world works.
A strong Connections Map makes us less vulnerable to those who want to hurt us. It makes us less lonely. Less depressed. Less anxious. When we feel a true, genuine connection with others, we are not only more likely to get through the hard times, we are more likely to live a long, happy life.
At StandbyU Foundation, we’re fighting the big social problems that affect so many Australians - domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse - but we're doing it differently. We’re tackling these issues at the source and providing lifelong solutions with real impact.
With strong human connections, we can overcome all these challenges, together.
It has definitely made us closer to our family because it has made us talk about it. I have found that since then, my family are really understanding and supportive.
Ever since having the watch, my 8 year old is happier. She is not scared anymore and can go outside now. Since having her safety watch, she has learnt to swim and ride a bike.
I think all women and children that are going through domestic violence should have this. The feeling of being safe and having people believe you is amazing.
We have been able to do things that we need to do without completely feeling vulnerable and unsafe, like even going to the supermarket.
It helped connect with people. I have met the neighbours, they are lovely people and they are hopefully coming for Christmas as well.
We definitely felt much safer… I was able to access my support straight away, and immediately, emotionally I felt better.
A FAIRYTALE BEGINNING
When Carly* first met Joe* it was a whirlwind romance. Deeply in love, the relationship moved very quickly. Within a few months of being together, Joe had proposed and Carly was pregnant with their first child.
It is only looking back on their long-term relationship that Carly realises how coercive and controlling Joe's behaviours were. She never would have labelled it 'domestic violence'.
"I did not realise it was domestic violence, I knew it was not a healthy relationship, but I thought I was at fault all the time."
FEELING OUT OF CONTROL
Joe's control over Carly was so severe that she was afraid to leave the house even when he was away. Suffering from post-natal depression and severe anxiety, Carly felt scared and controlled. It was several years before she approached the police or services for support.
"How could one go and explain psychological and emotional abuse because you don’t have any proof if you haven’t recorded it or someone has witnessed it? So many times, I cried myself to sleep wishing he would hit me so that I would have something to show."
Before receiving her safety watch, Carly thought no one could help. She was isolated and scared, and felt as though she was the one missing out on living her life.
"Going into a women’s refuge, [you] kind of feel like a prisoner... I know that there are safety measures for you and [your] protection, [but] you feel like you are the one being penalised."
The StandbyU Shield gave Carly the support she needed. The connection she has with her mother and friends means she is no longer isolated and vulnerable. She finally feels safe, both when at home and outside in her community.
"It just gives me my freedom back to freely choose what I want to do, where I want to go."
Her family also feel much better about her, and her children's, safety.
"My mum and dad have expressed their relief, [saying] 'I can see through your eyes’."
Carly hopes that everyone going through domestic violence can experience the benefits of having a StandbyU Shield. Her final words say it all.
"I can’t sing its praises enough, I think it is an amazing piece of technology and I feel so grateful and privileged that I have been fortunate enough to be granted one and I just wish that every woman who was in a DV situation could have access. It is indeed life-changing."
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