This 14-year-old survivor is lobbying the government for domestic violence awareness programs in schools. Will you help?
Trigger warning: This post deals with domestic violence and suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.
Rachel* didn’t know what was happening in her home was different to any other home.
She, her three brothers and her mother endured countless instances of domestic violence until finally police became involved after one particularly devastating incident — an intervention that led 14-year-old Rachel to realise how serious the trauma she and her family had endured was.
The NSW family was homeless for nine months, and even after moving into a new home, the violence made its way back into their lives.
Eventually, suffering from depression on top of the verbal, physical and emotional abuse inflicted upon her, Rachel’s mother took her own life.
That was only one month ago — but already, Rachel has taken action to try to help other families escape a similar fate.
Related content: Enough talk: it’s time to act on domestic violence.
In one small act which now has the potential to touch the lives of millions, Rachel created an online petition to lobby for domestic violence education and awareness programs in public schools.
And while the brave girl is focusing on lobbying the NSW government to introduce the programs right now, she says she’d like to see similar programs introduced across the country.
“We need just one lesson addressing what domestic violence is and what you can do about it. Something to address what is and isn’t acceptable,” she tells Mamamia.