MP's abuse story draws out other victims

By Amelia Romanos

National MP Jackie Blue revealed that she was a victim of domestic abuse. Photo / supplied
National MP Jackie Blue revealed that she was a victim of domestic abuse. Photo / supplied

Victims of domestic violence have contacted National MP Jackie Blue since she revealed her own story of abuse.

Dr Blue, who has been in Parliament since 2005, opened up about her past as a victim of domestic abuse in an interview with New Idea last week.

In the article, Dr Blue recalled unpredictable violent episodes in a relationship 28 years ago, including times when her then-partner would punch and kick her, and try to smother her with a pillow.

She put a stop to the violence after two years, calling the police when he punched in the face several times because he was angry about the attention she was getting from friends at a barbecue.

Now 55 and married with two adult daughters, Dr Blue told her story to raise awareness for the Shine helpline, a confidential service for abuse victims.

"It was a big step, I'd kept it very secret," she said.

"I felt raw and exposed thinking about what I was going to say and remembering back, but afterwards I felt quite liberated that I'd actually told the story, and if it helps even one woman, and I believe it already has, it's done it's job."'

Since the story was published, a number of women had contacted her to tell their own stories of abuse.

"One woman phoned my PA in Wellington in tears, and explained that she had the history of abuse and had read my story and found it inspirational, and felt that if I could overcome it she could too," Dr Blue said.

"That was wonderful to hear that it gave that particular woman some hope, and I was very humbled to hear that."

She had initially been concerned that readers might perceive her as weak for staying in the relationship when she should have known better.

However, she said she hoped the story emphasised that domestic violence did not discriminate, and that being a doctor and a professional did not mean someone was in control of their life.

- APNZ

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