Anangu Domestic Violence worker talks about her job

This drawing is about women sitting down, they have got sadness coming out of them because of trauma and violence. They are scared, they don’t want to talk to anyone, they are alone inside. When they’re inside, they can stay there for maybe a year or longer before they come out.

If they want to come out they have NPYWC case workers and people like that around them. It takes a while but it’s people like family and NPYWC, who can help to make them feel safe. They remember the good times again. It’s hard for them to say what is wrong because they are so scared because of the trauma and the violence.

They come out when they are ready, it happens slowly when they have love, and kids and family around them supporting them. Then they come out of the shell and back on the road to being happy. It’s like they can grow into a beautiful flower with their family, culture and community around them.

Sometimes when we have bush picnics we are all shy but we still encourage each other to speak – it’s alright because we are safe.

This is part of the way we work; we find safe ways to talk to women. We don’t go straight up to someone; we go ‘sideways’. We watch and wait for the right time.

We do things like eating, sitting and talking together, this helps women to feel safe and then they can talk.

Dianne Brown, Anangu DFVS team member.

Read more about NPY Women’s Councils Domestic & Family Violence Service