‘It’s more common than we realise’: Glenwood business owner speaks up about abuse

FLOWER POWER: Misel Burford is donating $10 to White Ribbon this month from every sale of her event styling business, The Flower Heart Co. Picture: Geoff Jones
FLOWER POWER: Misel Burford is donating $10 to White Ribbon this month from every sale of her event styling business, The Flower Heart Co. Picture: Geoff Jones

“I’m no longer going to sit in silence.”

Misel Burford is not afraid to speak about gender abuse – and she aims to empower others to speak up as well.

From her friends to her younger sisters, the Glenwood woman wants to help make sure nobody else endures what she has witnessed.

Prior to starting her own event styling business, Ms Burford worked in child protection for four years during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

“I like to give a voice to those who don’t have a voice themselves,” she said.

This month the young business owner has pledged to donate $10 from every sale to White Ribbon, in anticipation of White Ribbon Day on November 25.

Misel Burford is creating a giant white ribbon to donate to the anti-domestic violence organisation. Picture: Geoff Jones

Misel Burford is creating a giant white ribbon to donate to the anti-domestic violence organisation. Picture: Geoff Jones

Ms Burford, 25, said society is slowly changing for the better in recognising abuse and believing women when they come forward.

But she said the recent #MeToo social media trend, in which women shared their stories of sexism and abuse following the Harvey Weinstein allegations, showed the issue is larger than most people realise.

She hopes through more women speaking up, and more men speaking out against what they witness, fewer victims will suffer in silence.

“I want girls to know they can be open and talk about it,” she said.

“Domestic violence is everyone’s problem, because once you accept that behaviour once, you’re accepting that standard for your own children.

“It’s more common than we realise.

“Don’t be afraid to speak up, because a lot more people will understand than you think.”