I was 18 when I left home. It was not by choice, but out of necessity.
My step-father had been assaulting me for years and my mother had ignored what was happening. I felt so ashamed. I felt like it was all my fault.
When I finally worked up the courage to leave, I tried to avoid staying in one place for more than a few nights for fear that he would track me down…he often did. I eventually sought an AVO and spent a few months in Crisis Accommodation at Oasis while they helped me to find something more permanent.
My bedroom has never felt like a safe place and I still have trouble falling asleep at night. I am often anxious, but at least now I feel supported, am living on my own, enrolled in TAFE and miles away from my former life.