The Reason Why: Cain's Story Part 2

 

When I was in Year 8 our school was running a White Ribbon Project. The boys were getting involved and learning about Domestic Violence in our community. They were learning about how to stand up for something and how to organise events so that they could create change in the lives of the people around them.

I desperately wanted to get involved but it was the older boys who were involved, not us little kids. I started hanging around the boys; on the edge of the activity. I started doing stuff to help out, even though I was not really part of the project.

In what seemed like forever, and worrying every year that next year the project wouldn’t run, I finally got to be fully involved. I was passionate; still am, but I was prepared to do anything to be part of this cause.

Why was I so passionate? Why did this matter?

The answers are all tied back to the intimidating violence that I witnessed as a child. It was a frightening violence and one that even now; as more people talk about violence, still remains unspoken. I used to watch my uncle threaten, belittle and aggressively control his mother; my Nan. He would push her and swear at her. He would yell at her if a plate broke or if something wasn’t to his liking. He would wave a cricket bat aroundMy Nan was my world. He scared her and terrified me.

In my memory, this started when I was about 9 or 10. I do not remember any violence before then, but now I wonder if she had just protected me from it.

At sixteen I stood up to him and demanded that he stopped. I was pretty dumb… he is a big man and even at sixteen I wasn’t. I think I shocked him that day because he stopped hurting Nan…and he stopped talking to me.

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Kate Bricknell