The idea for this book came from a women’s hui about family violence held in Hamilton in 2006.

The women were discussing how the violence they had experienced as children had affected the rest of their lives. One woman, Elaine, talked about how she had seen violence in her own family, had married a violent man – and had then watched her daughter do the same.

Elaine said ‘It’s time we started telling these stories’ – and that statement was chosen as the title for this book.

Eight people volunteered to tell their stories.

Their stories show the devastating effects of family violence as it is passed on from one generation to the next. They illustrate the different forms and intensity of the results. For some the major effect was physical as they perpetuated violence in their own families; for others it meant a lifetime of anxiety.

But they have all managed to come to terms, to a greater or lesser extent, with the violence and its effects.

Their strength and resilience is obvious in their stories. As Elaine put it, “Well of course I was strong! You are strong if you have survived that physical, psychological and emotional violence. It’s the strength of your own spirit that gets you through.”