Domestic violence is a personal matter for Dawn Fraser

Dawn Fraser is lending a hand to the fight against domestic violence – or, more specifically, a wrist.

The Olympic swimming legend has volunteered to join a campaign that distributes smart watches with emergency beacons to vulnerable women because she feels so strongly about the rising number of murders of  women at the hands of their partners.

But this is not just a case of a celebrity chiming in. Fraser says she has been there.

“I was involved with domestic violence at home during my divorce … I have been stalked in my life. Also we moved up to Queensland because of the stalking we had in Balmain.

“My grandson got stalked up there [in Queensland] a few months ago and we had to call the police. If I would have had the 3G Safety Watch I could have pressed the button and people would have come immediately.”

Fraser revealed last year she was the victim of domestic violence during her marriage to her late husband Gary Ware, reports Fairfax Media.

In an interview for the documentary series Breaking Ground in 2014, Fraser recalled a night where she had to defend herself and her sleeping baby from her abusive husband.

“I could have gone to jail for stabbing a person,” she said. “He came home drunk one night and I said to him: ‘Gary don’t go in the baby’s bedroom please, she’s asleep.’ He said: ‘I want to kiss her goodnight’ and he grabbed me by the throat.

“I had the baby’s bottle in my hand and I smashed it on the balustrade and I put it in his throat and I said: ‘Please go away because I will kill you.

“‘I don’t want to go to jail, but I will go to jail, because I want to survive’.”

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Fraser is working with Sy Laga’aia, a former security guard who created the 3G Safety Watch, which comes with an emergency beacon. The entrepreneur is handing out 1000 watches for free to women selected by a panel that includes police officers.
Does it surprise you to know Dawn Fraser was the victim of domestic abuse? Do you think it would be helpful if more older women spoke out? 

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