Lexie’s Story

My name is Lexie and this is my story. I am a Sudanese refugee who fled my adopted home of New Zealand to escape my husband’s violence. I have family in Australia but new no one in New Zealand. There was no one there that I could go to for help.

My husband found me back in Australia and my community made me forgive him and take him back because he had nowhere else to go. He beat me in front of our 4 kids a lot.

I was confused, depressed and thought of killing myself. I thought the kids would be better off without me. I had nowhere to go, I could not get away from him, and he used to say he would kill the kids and me. Whatever he did to me I had to stay.

After a big fight the police came and I left the house. I didn’t know about the refuge. I was sent to a place and they sent me to Minerva. I was not allowed to get Centrelink money because I came from New Zealand.

Minerva helped me with food and counselling. I was only getting a little bit of money for the kids from Centerlink. I didn’t want to go back to New Zealand, this was my home now and I didn’t know anyone back there.

Living in refuge was good or I might have been dead. The refuge made me stronger but after 5 months I could not stay there anymore. The refuge workers moved me into a crisis house that was just for me and my kids and my new worker helped me to get work and pay my bills. It was hard for me because English is not my first language. My husband left me with a lot of debt and because I had no income it was very hard.

I got a job for 12 hours a week and this helped a lot. It was hard finding a house to rent, when they see your income they say no. It took another 13 months for me to be able to move out of the crisis house but I did it.

I would tell other women like me to go to the police and go to the refuge. I would tell them it is for them and their kids. They don’t know there are places for help. Women need a place to help and to hide. Sudanese women are being killed all over the place. The government don’t listen to women.

The Sudanese community say we know that man is violent but we will talk to him. They say its ok because he has nowhere else to live so take pity on him. I did, but turned out that me and the kids had nowhere to live because he beat me.

I am very happy for me and my kids for the help of workers at Minerva. I don’t know what would have happened to us without their help.