Re-posted from news.com.au
Hills Domestic Abuse – FOOTY champion Adam Goodes has blown the whistle on domestic violence, revealing how his own childhood was scarred by abuse.
“It definitely kept me up at night and it was quite scary as a child,” the Sydney Swans co-captain said in an exclusive interview to mark White Ribbon Night, a new fundraising initiative by White Ribbon Australia.
“I remember a few times climbing out of my window and going out to the telephone box and calling the police.
“The police would come and tell them they had to be quiet and ask was everything OK – and then I could fall asleep.”
The dual Brownlow medallist refused to discuss the racism uproar sparked by a fan’s over-the-fence comment and then Collingwood president Eddie McGuire’s maligned “King Kong” remark on radio last month.
But the indigenous star player opened the lid on domestic abuse, speaking for the first time of his experience.
“I’ve grown up witnessing it, seeing it in my own family and my community too, many times,” he said.
“Unfortunately, I saw too much domestic violence, verbal and physical.
“It was with my family members at home, and other family members’ homes.
“I want to help put a stop to the violence.”
Goodes’ parents separated when he was four, and he has never suggested his father was abusive.
But he alleged that when he started high school, his stepfather verbally abused his mother, Lisa May, for years before she left him.
He said his stepfather never physically abused his mother, but subjected her to verbal and emotional abuse that hurt the whole family.
“I find emotional violence can be more hurtful than the physical because it is constant,” he said.
“You never know when the next outburst is going to happen.”
Goodes said blokes who abused women were “weak”, and urged Australians to “step in” if they know someone is being abused.
“I think those men are very weak,” he said.
“They have their own issues and take it out on their partners and family members.”
Goodes called on people who witness domestic violence to “make sure you step in”.
“You tell them it’s not acceptable and they need to apologise,” he said.
“You console the partner and the family members and see if they’re OK.”
Goodes said his own family’s abuse happened for “two or three years” and ended at the age of 14, when his mother left her partner.
“At some stage mum had to make a decision it was not healthy for her and the kids and she took us away,” he said.
“My mum is a very strong woman and she didn’t want us to be around that.
“She stood up for herself and took the kids and moved away.”
Goodes said he thought drinking and jealousy could lead to domestic violence.
“I was a young child at the time so I don’t know why certain things happened,” he said.
“Definitely alcohol was involved, probably too much alcohol, and jealously I think comes into it, and miscommunication also.
“In my community it still happens but it’s getting better.
“Family members are getting better at saying stuff and standing up for themselves as well.
“And if I see something, I will say something.”
White Ribbon Day is on November 25, 2014 and aims to raise funds to help stop violence against women.
White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies said at least one Australian woman dies every week at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.
And she said one in four children witnessed violence against their mother.
KPMG has calculated that domestic violence costs the Australian community nearly $15 billion a year – or $6500 for every man, woman and child.
The calculation includes health costs, time taken off work and the cost of replacing damaged property.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott are White Ribbon ambassadors, along with army chief Lieutenant General David Morrison and AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou.
To host a fundraiser, visit www.whiteribbon.org.au