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25 November, 2014

Stories of Hope and Survival: Day Two

Stories of Hope and Survival: Day Two

7 years ago I met him, was swept away. I was his whole world and he needed me, I was only 18 and had never felt like this before.

The true colours started to show the first time we went out with other people. The jealousy caused by me talking to other men in the group ended with me being pushed down the stairs in the club.

The next day he was full of remorse and made it out that he was just upset that he might lose me.

The violence became regular, however, he was always careful to not leave marks in viewable areas. The odd black eye when he was uncontrollably drunk, which I would make obscene excuses for. Then came our beautiful daughter. I then realised what love really was and knew I didn’t love him and he didn’t love me. After all, would you treat the person you love this way?

He would say “our sprog” was an accident and how I trapped him. Another occasion I was told to “kill myself because I wasn’t needed”. The emotional abuse would destroy me. I wore dark colours, never wore makeup and looked unwell. My daily routine was ridiculous, make his breakfast, put out his clothes including his shoes. Bath ready when he came home and tea on the table.

The abuse was becoming more frequent and more dangerous. A particular football game where his team lost ended with me being thrown against a wall and giving me concussion. Sex was a chore, I would be told to “go upstairs” and I could never deny him otherwise he would threaten to throw me out.

My life was numb, accustomed to abuse and lonely.

One night, in front of our daughter he broke my nose and kicked me while on the ground. The screaming that came from her still breaks my heart. The following Monday my mother was looking after my daughter. Innocently she confessed that “Daddy hit mummy and made her cry”. My mother took me for tea on the Wednesday and said “if he’s hitting you tell me”. I then cried, felt the world was lifting and begged her to help me.

The plan was to go home, act like everything was normal and to leave him the next day. I phoned his mother, told her what my daughter had said and could she tell her son that it was over. I had people staying with me that night in case he came but he stayed out drinking sending me a mix of nice and horrible messages.

The next couple of weeks were hell, I had regained my life and I was starting to find myself again but he was worming his way back in.

He would say “come to the cinema with me and our daughter and I’ll leave you alone for a week”. I would agree just for the peace. Then he would not leave my house and start getting aggressive if I asked him to leave so I was feeling trapped once again.

My freedom finally came February of last year. After a night out he decided to come back to my house. I had the doors locked, and denied him entry. He broke through the window, and got into the house. I then did the bravest thing, I called the police. While they were on their way he assaulted me. Pinned me to the bed, asphyxiated me until I passed out and punched me in the face continuously until I came round again. The police came, took him away.

That horrendous ordeal lead to a court case, restraining order and most importantly my freedom.

I took emotional, physical and sexual abuse for 6 years. I now live with my daughter, I am happy, surrounded by friends and love my life! I will owe my daughter for what she did forever. She is my angel and my happiness is down to her.
The first steps are hard, but I came out strong and empowered. I survived.
Jesse – 2014
[Name has been changed to protect identity]

.@lisaflavwales from SEEdS describes the importance of support of colleagues and work places having policies in place that recognise the coercive controlling behaviour of domestic abuse perpetrators and its impact on survivors #WalesWontStandBy pic.twitter.com/XI0ktw9LaC

About 2 hours ago from WelshWomensAid's Twitter