GUEST speakers Joplin Higgins and Tahlia Smith have shared their experiences on two important issues during a Scone Country Women’s Association (CWA) luncheon on Friday.
Mrs Higgins, the director of a law firm in Singleton, recently travelled over to the United States to see how domestic violence was being addressed.
She said women’s shelters, courts, judges, police, and victims were all being educated on the widespread problem.
“They are doing some fantastic work in America and are very progressive, whereas we [Australia] are lagging behind a little bit,” she said.
On a national level, she added that one in five Australian women will experience domestic violence, while 48 have died as a result of it this year.
Following Mrs Higgins’ speech, lyme disease sufferer Tahlia Smith then gave a presentation on her battle with the illness.
After contracting the disease in about 2007, it was not diagnosed until around two years ago.
The Hunter woman travelled to Germany late last year to seek treatment, which has helped to get her life back on track.
In February, she became enough to be able to walk without the assistance of a walker and her seizures had stopped.
Scone CWA branch president Anne McPhee said both speakers were very inspiring.
“Although, domestic violence has been very much in the press of late, Joplin’s program for perpetrators of domestic violence is a great place to start to address this behaviour in our society today,” she said.
“It makes sense to start with the people who have issues that brings them to unacceptable behaviour in their relationships. Everyone has a story.
“Tahlia gave a very graphic presentation of her journey with Lyme Disease and it demonstrated the horror of this disease.
“Without that treatment [overseas] she wouldn’t be here today.
“Twelve months ago, Tahlia was convulsing 23 hours a day, could not walk or care for herself and was losing her sight.
“A year later, with treatment, she is now not convulsing, can walk again and her sight is restored.
“Despite looking well now, Tahlia is still receiving medical treatment weekly and her immune system is almost at zero.
“CWA of NSW and CWA of Australia both have submissions to the Government asking for recognition of this disease in Australia, thus helping these victims of this horrible disease not only to have diagnoses, but to be supported financially.
“CWA of NSW are supporting the research into lyme disease with donations of about $100,000 by the end of May 2017.”
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