Rachel* had no idea she was being drugged every night by her husband while he drugged and sexually assaulted her children. In the end it took her four long years to get justice through the courts, all the while dealing with the trauma of the ordeal and living through a delayed justice process, managing her five children and her own business. Her husband, the stepfather of her children Timothy James Stewart eventually was jailed for over 30 years in November 2017.
Rachel has chosen to support the southwest Justice Precinct campaign by telling us her story.
Read more here
Read Rachel* in her own words here
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent
When Huong first reached Australian shores from Cambodia with her 2 young children, she knew she faced a better future for her and her family. Her family struggled at first; learning a foreign language, moving into a new home in a unfamiliar suburb and tried desperately to embrace a new culture. Whilst managing her 2 boys on fortnightly Centrelink payments, she managed to apply for her loving husband and father of her 2 children, Chen to immigrate to Australia as well.
After having her case delayed and adjourned several times over 18 months, Chen’s partner visa application was unfortunately rejected. So resilient in her resolve, Huong saved up diligently to appeal the decision, knowing that her children (and herself) needed and missed their father. Another long 18 months passed and more adjournments, and Chen’s partner visa application was rejected for a second time. Huong is beside herself with grief, not knowing what the future holds.
Huong is unavailable for media interviews at this stage.
Sydney mother of two Janine* had to wait almost 18 months for her domestic violence case to be heard and resolved by the court in nearby Camden. Janine at the time worked with the NSW Police Force so she is well aware of how long matters should take.
“I had previous assaults that I never reported and the last one traumatised me massively,” she says.
“He kept me hostage in the house for an hour-and-a-half and chased me down every door that I tried to escape from.”
“I worked up the courage to finally have him charged.”
Janine suffered panic attacks while giving evidence and struggled with the matter constantly being adjourned.
“It couldn’t finish so it got put over months and months later for him to then give his evidence.”
Janine says the lengthy delays affected her children and her work as she struggled to concentrate.
“Mentally it just drained me because you just want it done,” she says.
“You want it over and done with so you can move on with your life because it’s a hard enough decision as it is.
“It’s just atrocious how they make you, as a victim of domestic violence, sit there where the perpetrator can look into the room and stare at you and look at you, and [there’s] no security, no nothing.”
“What they provide is not safe.”
“The amount of people coming in, they can’t cope.”
Janine is sharing her story in the hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else in a similar situation.