Healing Angela: Fighting back one step at a time

A grueling trek through the outback with other victims of domestic violence has helped survivor Angela Jay begin to heal the emotional trauma she suffered at the hands of a deranged Tinder date.

The young Port Macquarie doctor was stalked, covered with petrol and stabbed 11 times in the horror attack.

“We’re all linked by a shared terrible experience and that’s why we are out here.. I’m hoping that this will help me and other others find closure,” Angela said during the 65 kilometre trek along the Larapinta Trail in central Australia.

“I feel like I didn’t die for a reason and that I now am here to make as much of a difference as I can and to help as many people as I can.” Angela told Sunday Night’s Melissa Doyle.

The trek was arranged by the violence prevention organization White Ribbon Australia. More than a dozen people whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence took part in the five day long walk through the MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory.

“We’re out in the middle of nowhere a lot of people feel lonely out here but I don’t feel so alone knowing there are other people who’ve been through it like me,” she said.

During the walk Angela made personal video diaries describing how the experience was making her think differently about the attacker.

“I’ve been driving myself forward and slamming my pole into the ground every time saying in my head, screw you. You have to stop haunting me and I’m not going to let you defeat me so I’m just going with that anger flow and getting my frustration out at the moment and we’ll see how far it gets me.” Angela said.

Experiencing the trek with other victims of domestic violence helped create a strong bond and trust among the group, something many had lost when they were attacked by their partners. Around the campfire at night they shared their stories of recovery.

“Even though I barely know these ladies, I’m just so proud that they’ve gotten through it as well despite whatever anguish and horror they’ve experienced themselves.” Angela said.

“I feel lucky to be here because I know in my heart how close it was to not and it’s a strange feeling sometimes knowing in some ways I’m not meant to be here but I think just reminding myself that I still have a place in this world and I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”

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