A book detailing the struggles and triumphs of women dealing with family violence was launched last week.
Warrior to Goddess tells the tales of eight women, all members of VincentCare’s Shepparton Family Violence Services’ Touch Base peer support group.
The group was started 18 months ago by family violence worker Wendy*, who said she had noticed some of VincentCare’s refugee women were feeling isolated after relocating.
‘‘They had moved into the area and left behind their home and their whole life,’’ she said.
‘‘They couldn’t have anybody over, couldn’t disclose where they were, which isolated them further.
‘‘The group encourages them to have some connection to Shepparton and the people. Once you’ve got that it makes life a little easier.’’
Group members have shared their stories and experiences in the book, which its authors hope becomes a useful tool for service providers, survivors and perpetrators.
Group member Maryanne* said she was initially nervous about the book because she was not sure how her words and story world come across.
However, she is proud of the final product and hopes that it can help at least one person.
‘‘My wish is that one day I might help a girl,’’ Maryanne said.
‘‘She might read a story in the book and think ‘gee whiz, I can leave’.’’
Wendy said it was a privilege to be involved and watch the women grow while writing the book.
*Surnames withheld by request