To hide from the man she once loved meant to leave everyone and everything she had ever known

To hide from the man she once loved meant to leave everyone and everything she had ever known

“There was definitely a sense of camaraderie. You could face the world together, like a surrogate family,” she said.

Story Highlights:

  • Drawn in by older friends and vulnerable due to a difficult home life, she then spent the next two decades immersed in the underground world. 

  • Ms Smith’s relationship with a bikie afforded her a level of respect in the gang hierarchy.

But she said it was a relationship fuelled by domestic violence.

Women in relationships with gang members are six times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence than the general population, according to the Queensland Police Service.(AAP: Joe Castro)

“If they had a fallout with one of the other blokes, you could be their punching bag for taking their frustration out,” she said.

Years have passed since Ms Smith escaped her old life, but she said she wanted to use her story to expose the violent culture of gang life for women.

Tracy Lindeman said she had a similar experience during her time in a bikie gang and recalled witnessing the consequences on a young member.

“She had a broken arm. I said, ‘Oh, how did you do that?’ “She said, ‘I stepped out of line’.”

Where to turnFamily violence support services: Breaking free can be tough, especially when it is the only life that domestic and family violence victims have ever known.

But a $1 billion federal government program launched this week aims to help women financially and support them through their transition to a new life. The two-year trial offers financial assistance for women to leave unsafe domestic situations and help them set up a home of their own.

Domestic violence survivors and advocates are baffled as to why many victims still end up alone in the court room. Read more

Facing court alone UnitingCare Queensland will lead the project, offering up to $5,000 in vouchers, goods, services and access to support.

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