Stories about women who suffer from family violence are tragically common. But what about those who dedicate themselves to breaking the cycle?
People like Dixie Link-Gordon—a communicator, a connector, a knowledge portal for women dealing with abuse who need reassurance that they deserve better and that their lives can be different.
Aboriginal women are at least 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence.
Dixie’s conversations encourage people to lift the veil of shame that keeps so much family violence hidden and stops most indigenous women from reporting it when it happens to them.
“You know, we all have the right to be safe,” she says. “But we need to say it loudly and clearly to each other.”
Overcoming a tough upbringing
For nearly four decades Dixie has been a familiar face around the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern, pioneering legal initiatives and education programs with other indigenous leaders.
It is the home where she has lived, loved and fought for others since leaving her unhappy childhood in Brisbane.
“I knew I did not want that life and by the time I was 16 I was out of there.”
Dixie went on to create her own family, raising six children and now enjoying being a grandmother to 25.
“I feel such an abundance of love having them in my life,” she says.
A space to connect
A typical day for Dixie Link Gordon is talking and networking.
“It’s getting people on that path if they are interested in doing something about an injustice that may have happened in their life,” she says.
For the past three years, Dixie has been a support advisor for the Indigenous Women’s Program run by NSW Women’s Legal Service.
Her network includes the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation, a community hub in Mt Druitt in western Sydney.
This was originally published by ABC.net.au.
Register for the 2017 STOP Domestic Violence Conference Australia, held at Rydges Melbourne from Monday 4 – Tuesday 5 December.
This year the STOP Domestic Violence Conference will embark on the theme of ‘Domestic Violence Does Not Discriminate’ with nine featured speakers and over 50 expert stream/ workshop presenters.