Real Life

The many faces of Australia’s domestic violence epidemic

Statistics show that one in three Australian women will be touched by domestic violence in her lifetime.
Australian Women's Weekly domestic violence

Statistics show that one in three Australian women will be touched by domestic violence in her lifetime.

It’s a stat we have been talking about a lot today. The Weekly is passionate about stopping domestic violence. You might not think you know anyone suffering, but these brave women will make you think again.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence please contact 1800 RESPECT, or visit their website 1800respect, for help or call 000 if you are in immediate danger. 

Rachel Kayrooz, 30s, motivational speaker, Queensland: At the lowest point in her five-year abusive relationship, Rachel Kayrooz made a silent pledge to God. “I promised, when I got out, I would do something about it,” she says. “I would talk about it to stop it happening to others.”

Kay Schubach, 50s, author and art gallery manager, NSW: As financial manager to the likes of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise with an apartment in Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs and a busy social life, Kay Schubach didn’t appear vulnerable when a charming new man walked into her life. Within weeks, however, her handsome new boyfriend Simon Lowe had turned controlling and violent.

Renee Mayne, 30s, business owner, Victoria: When Renee Mayne left home, she swore that she would never follow in her mother’s footsteps and get trapped in an abusive relationship. As a teen in country NSW, she had watched helplessly as her mum was regularly assaulted by her then boyfriend. Despite her pledge, Renee was seduced at 21 by a charming man, who harboured an uncontrollable anger that would eventually spill into violence. “It was the last thing I wanted, but I didn’t know what love looked like,” she says.

Rhondalynn Korolak, 40s, managing director of Imagineering, Victoria: With general manager roles at Coles Group, Max Factor and Village Cinemas, Rhondalynn Korolak was in the top two per cent of female income earners in Australia before setting up her own firm. You certainly wouldn’t guess by looking at her that the intelligent Melbourne mum’s life has been blighted by domestic violence.

Tamyka Nguyen, 20s, mechanic, ACT: Petite and softly spoken, Tamyka Nguyen might seem more at home in a library than in a car workshop, surrounded by heavy machinery and male colleagues. Yet what Porsche Australia’s first female apprentice automotive technician lacks in stature, she makes up for with inner strength. After a horror relationship left her unable to cope with human touch, Tamyka struggled to find help. Remedial massage and counselling failed. So she tried a different approach. “I had this crazy idea to surround myself with the things I was most afraid of: men and cars,” she says.

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