Instilling strength in young victims

Author Connor Pall with Prevention of Family Violence Minister Vicki Ward and Broadmeadows MP Kathleen Matthews-Ward (L-R). (Gerald Lynch)

Gerald Lynch

A book dealing with impact of family violence on children will be available at The Orange Door services across Melbourne’s north-west.

The Orange Door is a support service available to adults, children and young people who are at risk of experiencing or have experienced family violence, and for families who need support with the development and wellbeing needs of children.

Originally from Mildura, 20-year-old author Connor Pall has relocated to Melbourne, and has published his first children’s book ‘The Shadow That Follows’ which will now be made available for free at all Orange Door centres, after officially launching at the Broadmeadows centre.

The book deals with complex topics, as it follows the journey of a young boy who finds inner strength to battle difficult situations that no child should ever have to face.

Writing a book that discusses topics of such sensitive material in a way that children can understand seems like a tough task, but for Mr Pall it was simple.

He wanted to create the resource he wished he had through his own history of dealing with family violence as a child.

“With my lived experience as a male survivor of family violence, growing up in an unsafe home … I never had the language to express what I was experiencing,” he said.

“I wish I had something like this book when I was growing up so I could get the support that all kids and all people deserve.

“I have created the book from my own experience, to make sure kids know they have a right to safety and freedom in their own homes.”

As someone who was provided support by The Orange Door himself, Mr Pall said he hopes his book can lead children to speaking out and finding the help they deserve.

“If a kid has read this book at school or at a library … Speaking to a safe adult about their experience is always a good place to start,” he said.

“These adults will be able to help out and point kids in the right direction.”

Prevention of Family Violence Minister Vicki Ward said that although she understands it can be very difficult for families in vulnerable situations to reach out for help, she wanted to assure them that there are services available.

“The police should always be a point of call for families who are feeling unsafe, but you can utilise The Orange Door without involving police,” she said.

“Every door is open, walk in, there are a number of people here who can wrap around, triage the support that you need and find services that will help in the longer term.”