Writer speaks against domestic violence after losing family

Domestic violence is not only a topic of debate. It is not only about ‘stranger danger.’ It can be unexpected. Attackers can be close to the victims, even family and friends. Rebecca Poulson is speaking out, and writing, to help victims.  

“You don't really choose to become a writer, writing is something that has always been with me. When I lost my family members in violent circumstances then the book choose me - I HAD to write it.”

When she was ready, life-changing events compelled her to write. A horrific family attack left her recovering for years.

The writing process for her first book was an emotional roller coaster. Rebecca was compelled to write about her own trauma, hoping the world would learn from her own experience of domestic violence.

It was Rebecca’s 33rd birthday. Rebecca’s father, and young niece and nephew, were murdered by those children’s own father. Rebecca’s brother-in-law had taken the lives of her beloved family.

Her father, Peter Poulson, was a known and loved member of the wider community. He was an active public speaker in Toastmasters, and cared for everyone. Then his own son-in-law took his life from the world.

The children’s lives had barely started. At age 3 and 1, they were lost at the mercy of a father who should have loved them.

Rebecca took great courage to write and publish her story. One could only imagine the toll these memories took – not only as a former aunt, but as a mother herself.  

She now openly speaks against domestic violence. Real change is growing in the community.

“I was driven by an inner persistent annoying voice that would simply not shut up, not give up until I had done the rounds on the paper with it- and then it left me alone- and exhausted!”

“I often staggered out and said to my best friend I would rather have gone 10 rounds in the boxing ring with Mike Tyson than have written that- particularly the events around my loved ones deaths.”

It was extremely hard but in a way strangely rewarding. At the time of the events everything was on super fast forward- I had to get through so many surreal events like a media gathering, organising funerals, police statements.

It was such a strange time that writing it all down allowed me to process it all slowly, see things at a slower pace and from different angles.

It allowed me to review and reflect on those events. So although I would never want to write it all out again - never in a million years- it was a strangely good experience- to examine my life and review what I was doing, thinking and feeling at that time.

The writing process can be different for autobiography writers, or whenever authors are touching on personal experiences.

It is about being psychologically prepared. It also requires enough time for the work, but also diving in and juggling writing with other responsibilities. 

Rebecca recalls, “Writing my book was an exhausting struggle. The best way to describe it is I didn't CHOOSE to write it particularly at that time in my life, with 3 children under 4 years.”

Her work load is best described on her web site, “Rebecca completed the manuscript for her first book Killing Love while simultaneously looking after her three children all aged under 4. She believes the importance of being an adequately caffeinated writer and mother cannot be overstated.”

Rebecca is now encouraging the next generation of survivors. They need to persevere.

“DO NOT GIVE UP! I have been vocal in my theory "The Giant Brush Off" after hearing so many any stories straight from women’s mouths.

They plucked up all there courage and bravery to approach police about their ever-increasing unstable and violent ex partners only to be told "every couple has their fight, give him time to calm down".

“Seek and demand to speak to a Domestic Violence Liaison Officer who are specifically trained within this area. Speak with your friends for support and to help you contact these officers. Ring 1800 respect.”

“Women were reporting breaches of Apprehended Violence Orders BUT that police did not adequately follow up on these breaches.

I would recommend that women report all breaches, preferably with a friend as a witness. Police must follow up on all breaches including proceeding if it is in the public best interest EVEN IF the woman withdraws her breach report.”

Rebecca is growing dialogue and advice, to find real solutions to domestic violence.


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