Natalia Esdaile-Watts: Moving Forward
Natalia finds her voice to help free women from family violence
The $10,000 Westfield Local Hereos grant has enabled me to assist two organisations including Moving Forward and Georges River Council. The first $5,000 which was donated to a local organisation called “Moving Forward”. Moving Forward provide specialist case management service for women and children who are experiencing, escaping or have left domestic and family violence. The organisation is working on a program that will allow women and children who are fleeing domestic violence situations with storage of personal items, and workshops aimed at providing a supportive, friendly and safe environment where women with similar experiences can begin to heal and move forward.
The other $5000 being donated to Georges River Council was being used to set up a refugee for Women and Children in the Kogarah area, which doesn’t have a service at this time. However, the money donated will allow for them to get started on this important service this year.
It took 10 years, but Natalia Esdaile-Watts finally found her voice and the courage to tell her story of family violence to help others in the same situation.
Speaking out about her ordeal has not only raised awareness of the impact of domestic violence on families, and but also helped her live without fear.
“The more I talk about it, the more I find my own strength and become free of the fear,” she says.
“In doing so I’m helping others and raising awareness as well.”
Natalia has given talks about her experience at numerous public events, as well as presentations to police and psychologists who work with perpetrators.
Her aim is to inspire all women to never give up, to stand tall and to believe in themselves.
Educating the community about the effects of domestic violence promotes respectful and strong relationships, which will hopefully create a safer community for all, she says.
As well as promoting awareness, Natalia has raised money for charities including White Ribbon and the Moving Forward organization.
She also supports women through her Facebook page, Natalia’s Warriors, which provides information and advice on domestic violence.
“Being voted a Westfield Local Hero has been surreal and is absolutely amazing, as I can now give back in some way, other than just words,” Natalia says.
“To be able to contribute financially, knowing it will make a difference and create change that is so much bigger than me, is such a privilege.”
“It's hard work, and they are very sad issues, but there is hope because I think society is slowly changing,” Natalia says.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.