Jacinta Dubojski bears the scars of both domestic violence and schoolyard bullying.
But despite enduring such trauma, now some years ago, the former Albury woman is determined to ensure it turns into a positive.
For her work as an anti-bullying advocate she has just taken out the ACT government's Community Connection Through Recovery Award.
The awards are described as a symbol of community's appreciation of the dedicated efforts from individuals and organisations to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those living in the territory.
The founder of Just Another Girl Project. said it was an honour accepting the award, one that "opens many doors to telling my story further".
"All I want to do is create awareness," she said.
"And to help people seek help, because there are many people suffering."
Ms Dubojski said working with women who had gone through domestic violence triggered her own experiences.
"Mine is so traumatic, and even though I've done some healing work around that it still brings me pain," she said.
Ms Dubojski said that after being left with nothing in her early 20s from an abusive relationship, she remained scarred.
"I'd love to open up my own registered training organisation eventually," she said.
"I'm going to try to get some government funding to get grants for women and DV survivors.
"It will be the beginning of another powerful chapter that hopefully takes off into something wonderful.
"But right now I'm still continuing to get the message out there that domestic violence and bullying is not OK."
Ms Dubojski said it "was a very unique, euphoric feeling" being able to do her line of work.
"Eventually I would like to write a book on my experience," she said.
"I want to make an impact, and not just through schools, through podcasts, interviews, radio and being on television."
Ms Dubojski regularly does talks at schools across Australia, and wants her story to be the catalyst for stopping the cycle of abuse.
"It is so common," she said.
"It can feel like you may be the only one that's going through this or maybe going through a challenge or whatever it may be. But I can assure you there's someone else going through the exact same thing, if not worse."
Ms Dubojski said she confronted her school bully more than a decade later.
"He cried and cried when I laid out to him what he had done to me," she said.
"I wanted to know why he did what he did to me. I said to him, 'you crushed me, made me feel like a monster'."
Ms Dubojski said no one truly knew the pain others were experiencing, pointing out how "hurt people hurt people".
"He was in so much pain himself," he said.
"He was so sorry for hurting me, but went on to say he had a horrible upbringing himself so he brought everyone else down to his level of how he was feeling inside."
Ms Dubojski said bullies come across as "powerful and strong" but "they're the complete opposite".
"If you are a bully, take a moment and sort of come back into yourself and go, 'hey, what's actually going on for me right now, why am I needing to treat people like this?'."
Ms Dubojski said it was sad to see the damage to someone's life through any type of abuse.
"I often look back at how far I've come and I am resilient and brave," she said.