I was a girl for years.
I wanted to be a doctor and a lawyer and a teacher and a nurse and a chef and a carpenter, the things that women dream about doing.
But I didn’t want to be one of them.
After a decade of being one of those girls, I decided to change.
For a long time, I felt like I was one of the few women in the world who could truly believe that men could truly love me.
The year was 2005, and I had just completed my Masters in Nursing, the course that I’d been working on as a student.
A year after finishing my degree, I had been asked to help a female friend in her job search.
“I wanted you to meet me at the local pub,” the friend told me.
“I don’t want you to get too drunk, but I don’t think you need to be.
What do you think about meeting a woman?”
“Yes, yes, I’m sure,” I replied.
“She’s a lovely woman.”
“But she’s not my girlfriend,” she said.
This was a surprising turn of events for me.
I’d never met anyone I’d thought of as my girlfriend before.
But I was still surprised when she asked me out.
When she was in her late 20s, I was single and had moved back to Sydney from Sydney.
We dated for a couple of years and had a baby together.
In 2013, I took a short year-long break to go back to school.
It wasn’t until I was in a relationship with another woman that I started dating again.
Then, I met a guy, and that was when things started to go from bad to worse.
He was the one who introduced me to other women, and it was only after this that I found myself on the receiving end of abuse from other women.
During this time, a few men started to feel threatened by my presence and wanted to have a go at me, I say.
My partner and I were in a very bad relationship.
Men would make me feel very uncomfortable and threatened.
I felt that if I told people that I was with a man, they’d think I was trying to cheat.
Eventually, I left my partner and started a new relationship.
But, even as I was leaving, I would be constantly bombarded by messages on my phone from other men telling me how attractive I was and how attractive they were.
As the years passed, I started to realise that some of the abuse I’d received wasn’t because I was being a woman.
They were because I had a penis.
Some of the messages were about how I looked, and some were about the size of my penis.
The messages included suggestions that I might be gay, or that I should be more “feminine”.
I didn’t understand what was happening, but what made it so much worse was that the men were saying these things to women who were just trying to make themselves feel better.
And so, I became more aware of what I could do to change this situation.
I started speaking up.
I made it clear that I would not be taking any more messages or having more relationships with men.
So, I contacted the National Sex Discrimination Commissioner, and in 2015, I founded a group called No More Violence Against Women.
No More Violence is an organisation that has helped thousands of women over the past four decades, from being sexually harassed at work, to being bullied online.
I have worked with women who have been sexually assaulted to prevent and support them.
We work with law enforcement, to help people who have faced sexual abuse.
We’ve worked with the government, to ensure we have the right laws to deal with these types of abuse.
Today, more than 2,000 women are No More Women and our campaign is working across the world to make sure that women are not the victims of abuse, and are not expected to stay silent.
Every day, more women than men are getting the support they need.
And every day, women are also getting the help they need to overcome the abuse that is going on in their lives.
If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact No More Woman Australia on 1300 566 733 or visit their website.
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