Rachael Taylor: I was a victim of domestic violence
Three-and-a-half years after she escaped an abusive relationship, Rachael Taylor has broken her silence to discuss her experience as a victim of domestic violence.
The 29-year-old Australian actress writes about her private nightmare in the March issue of The Australian Women's Weekly on sale tomorrow.
"One woman per week in Australia dies at the hands of her current or former partner," Rachael writes. "I don’t think any woman thinks they will become an addition to these statistics. I didn’t.
"I remember looking at a domestic violence poster in a hospital emergency room and on it was a picture of a woman, bloodied and bruised.
"I didn’t relate to her, even though I was her. I thought I was the exception to the rule, but I was the rule."
Rachael describes the complex physical and psychological fear that plagued her during her ordeal, explaining why she felt she couldn't "just leave" as many friends of domestic violence victims urge them to do.
"It feels as if all the friends you invited up the coast for your summer holidays vanished inexplicably while you were doing the washing-up," she writes.
"Then your mobile is lost, your mental road map of how to get back to where you came from is erased and, suddenly, your ATM cards say your money is gone and your car disappears, too.
"In addition, you notice that 'the coast' has now magically splintered off into its own very small, very barren island.
"Worse still, you have lost your voice. Even though there is nobody around to talk to, anyway, your inner voice, the dialogue you can have with yourself, is gone.
"Do you understand? That is my saddest memory, actually. I had lost my voice. It did come back. Sadly, for one woman every week in Australia, the return of her voice is a right she is denied. Put plainly, put shockingly, she is dead."
Rachael has teamed up with White Ribbon Australia and The Australian Women's Weekly to launch the Secrets campaign, which encourages women to share their personal stories of domestic violence by submitting a video to the White Ribbon website.
Read more of this story in the March issue of The Australian Women's Weekly on sale tomorrow.