“I am a 31 year old woman. On 10th of May 2014, my partner assaulted me with a knife (machete). After only one week of living with my partner (in another country) he started to beat me up twice a week or once a week, whether he was sober or drunk. But I forgave him every time – because I loved him, he is the father of my son. After 4 months of beatings I went to the police station for help. I was tired of my partner’s bad behaviour and beating me all the time. The Court issued a Protection Order for him to stay away from me. I told him that we are finished, and please just leave me alone. I wanted my life to move on, but he was still begging for another chance.
On Saturday morning I was at work. I was so shocked when I saw my partner standing in front of the building. He was lighting his smoke, and the knife was placed in front of his pants. I could easily see it. When I saw him I ran towards my workplace, and he ran after me. I tried to lock the door but I wasn’t strong enough. He forced his way in, and he hit me with the knife. I do not know how he cut my legs and my hands because I was trying to defend myself. The only thing I remember was when I fell down on to the floor, and he tried to cut my neck, and I whispered in his ear that I am pregnant. Then he just stood up and walked outside with nothing to say, not even a word. I do not know how many times he hit me with me with the knife. I stood up and ran outside calling for help. The blood was all over my clothes but I stopped a taxi and asked the driver to please take me to the hospital.
I was in hospital for 15 days because of my injuries. The Police arrested him and put him in prison until our court hearing. I left hospital to go to a shelter for my safety while the police were investigating what happened. I wanted to go back to Tonga to see my family. The shelter staff didn’t listen or care. The workers and the boss of the shelter started blaming me for what happened. They told me that there’s no way for me to return back home and that I have to stay and face the court. Every day I felt like a prisoner with no voice. I felt unhealthy and lonely with no one on my side.
When I got to use one of the staff’s phone, I called my parents first and asked him to find a way to help me to get out from this country and come home. My father went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who referred him to the Women and Children Crisis Centre and asked for help. One of the counsellors from the WCCC came all the way from Tonga to see me and also help me if I needed anything.* I felt happy that I am alive. The shelter boss started to get angry because she didn’t want me to leave. But it was my choice, and the WCCC said they would support whatever choice I make. The next morning I made my decision and I told the shelter I was leaving, but that I would come back for the court hearing. I returned for the hearing with the counsellor for support. My ex-partner pleaded guilty. He hasn’t been sentenced yet. I still go to see the WCCC counsellor for counselling.
Without the help of the Women and Children Crisis Centre I don’t know what would’ve happened to me. I would like to say a big thanks to all the staff for their work. The centre works 100% for the victim and her needs. They also work together with the Women Crisis Centre in Fiji by networking. For you who need help with your problems please contact them, they will open their heart for you.”
*Funds for WCCC’s counsellor to travel to the other country and bring the client home were provided from FWCC’s own fund-raising.