Softly spoken and pausing regularly as she speaks to keep her emotions in check, Chamari Liyanage has always shunned the spotlight.
But the Sri Lankan-born doctor has stepped forward with an art exhibition she hopes will open up a discussion about family violence and encourage others to know there is hope.
In 2014, Liyanage bludgeoned her husband to death with a mallet at the home they shared in Western Australia's Mid West.
During her trial it emerged she had endured years of the most severe physical, sexual and psychological abuse.
She was charged with murder but found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to four years in jail.
Liyanage has since been released on parole and has voluntarily chosen to give up her medical licence for the time being.
While in custody she began teaching herself to paint as a form of therapy.
"Painting itself gave me peace and hope but above all it helps me in the process of healing," she said.
Title highlights living in cycle of violenceChamari Liyanage's very first exhibition is entitled Uncertainty.
"That is the emotion I lived for many years with," she said.
"Many people who go through violent relationships always feel uncertain about their future, their present; uncertain about what's going to happen in the next five minutes, or an hour, or a day."
Liyanage said she was using her own experiences plus those she had heard to spread the message that support was available.
"I thought it is very important to talk about family and domestic violence and raise awareness of this issue, which we tend to trivialise as well as pretend to be oblivious to," she said.
"And also to let society and community know there are a lot of services available in this day to support people. So I thought if I could use art as a medium to start this discussion, it would be a good thing."
Desert Blue Connect provides advocacy and support for families facing issues such as this in the WA Mid West.
Executive manager of operations Daphne White said Liyanage's story showed family violence could affect anyone.
"It does affect women, children, men and it doesn't matter what background, whether a different ethnicity, culture, social or economic background," she said.
Liyanage hoped to take the exhibition around the country.
This article was written by Natasha Harradine and has been copied from here.
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