Toni Pearen's Heartbreak Over Australia's Heartless Response
When Melissa George appeared on our TV screens on Sunday Night pleading for help to escape her domestic violence nightmare, Australia’s response was swift and damning.
The sympathy that we would normally witness was withheld as many people pointed back to five years earlier.
At the time an upset George had said she’d “rather be having a croissant and a little espresso in Paris or walking my French bulldog in New York city” in response to the Australian press’ focus on her past Home And Away role.
It’s a quote that has haunted her ever since and Australian’s have been less than forgiving.
Now one of her long-time friends, Toni Pearen, has spoken out against the viciousness of those comments.
“My heart breaks for her and I just can’t believe her fellow Australians do not feel the same kind of compassion,” she told us.
“As a mother, how I would feel to know that my son was violently attacking another person – none of it makes sense to me.
“I think about my own children, and I think about if my daughter ended up in this situation – because it could be anyone.”
The actress first met George when they both worked on Home And Away together and they quickly became friends.
So when she saw how like compassion was been shown to her friend of more than 20 years, it hurt.
She told us it’s a story that could so easily be our own, with George now being terrorised by a man she loved so much.
“Somebody has to stand up and say ‘it’s not okay’, it’s not okay, these people are vulnerable,” she said.
“If you can’t be vulnerable in our society, if you can’t stand up and say ‘I need help, I’m not okay’ – whatever your situation is.
“If people turn around and say ‘oh well you deserved it’ how does that make anyone feel like they can be vulnerable.”
She hopes that by making a stand she might remind those most vulnerable that they can and should stand up and ask for help.
“Any woman that is in that situation should be able to scream as loud as she possibly can and people should listen,” she said.
“We need to know that people are listening and they care. Because otherwise you’re not going to scream.”
Listen to Toni share her heartbreak and why Aussie's need to rethink their stance...