A domestic violence victim from Harold Hill is urging women to the ‘have strength and courage’ to leave their abusive partners and not live in fear.
The 45 year old woman who could not be named, spent six years in a mentally and physically abusive relationship that she described as ‘soul destroying’.
Now, after years of abuse the Harold Hill lady is eager to help other women not suffer the horrors she went through.
She told the Havering Daily ‘My partner did his best to destroy my life and me with it. He systematically tried to break me from the inside, to destroy every last shred of confidence I had as a woman.
‘I met him through a friend and we got to know each other and got on really well. He had been married before and would often share his stories about the break down of his marriage and how cut up he had been. He seemed so nice I couldn’t understand why his marriage had broken up.
‘We got closer and closer and he was so believable and charming that I really fell for it. Now when I look back I can’t believe how dumb I was. Yet at the time I was so caught up I couldn’t and wouldn’t see.
‘He began to be very controlling. I had to text him and tell him everywhere I went. Literally say I was going to drive or go to the shops. Everything I did was logged.
‘Then he began to ask who I’d met at work or at lunch and had any other guys chatted to me. I laughed this off at first thinking it was just a boyfriend being silly but it got worse. He would question my day at work all the time.
‘From there he began to start commenting on my clothes, my skirts weren’t long enough, my shirts needed to be not so fitted. This all got worse day by day.
‘Then one day I had left the house in a hurry and not text him until later and that’s when the anger came.
‘He came home from work and grilled me, I apologised for not texting as by then I already felt like a battery hen and he swung a punch at the side of my face and then into my back as I turned. I remember falling to the floor and crying in shock.
‘This became the new pattern if forgot to text or my dress was deemed to short and if I cried then he would just hit me harder.‘
‘I suffered multiple cuts and bruises weekly. I actually had to take time off work to hide my bruises and try and avoid people staring at me. He had alienated most of my friends so I felt very isolated. But when you are in that situation you feel like you have no way out.
‘I know most of you reading this are wondering why I stayed as long as I did and why I did not stand up for myself. I ask myself those questions now but back then I felt totally trapped and never had the courage to leave him.
‘Sometimes I am angry with myself and how I let myself be treated this way by a very nasty and manipulative man, that’s why now I am speaking out and want to help other women find strength to leave similar situations.’
‘Please don’t let anyone treat you this way, no person should ever subject another person to this, this is not love and I stress that. You are worth more than that. Make that change, find courage within.‘
If you have been a victim of domestic violence and wish to share your story. Please contact us at the firstname.lastname@example.org