‘I suffered many black eyes, headbutts and at one point he even dislocated my jaw’.

Yesterday was white ribbon day, focusing on violence against women. A Hornchurch woman has spoken to the Havering Daily about the violence she endured for over twenty years at the hands of her husband and how pleased she is that police are now dealing with these life changing issues.

The Hornchurch woman who did not wish to be named, is urging all women who have suffered or are currently suffering violence against them to report it to the police.

She told the Havering Daily: “I am pleased to see now how much work is being done by the police and the public to stop violence against women. When it happened to me, it wasn’t seen as an important issue and just thought of as in house violence that didn’t really count, you know it was domestic. I would report it to the police and the police officer would look at me and say well its domestic, as it was my husband, almost as if it was expected. I’m glad to see that now it is being seen for what it is, violence against women.”

The Hornchurch woman stayed with her husband for over twenty years to raise her two children and under went many beatings that left her physically and mentally scarred.

“I was very young when it first happened, a teenager back then we married young and life was different. When he first hit me I thought that was how it worked when you were married I didn’t realise how wrong it was. It became part of my life. When I disagreed with my husband he didn’t like it so he would hit me. Normally he would either punch me or head butt me, it varied really. He didn’t accept the fact that I had a different opinion to him at times.

“What didn’t help was other peoples’ attitudes around me. For example when I spoke to my mother in law and she could clearly see my black eye and knew that it was her son that had done it, she would make remarks such as ‘Well you shouldn’t go demanding and asking stuff or provoke him’. The emphasis was always seen as it was my fault somehow that he had beaten me. He was never the guilty party.”

Today, the Hornchurch lady lives happily and knows she did the right thing in walking away.

“I woke up one day and knew I didn’t love him anymore and that it was time to go and I did.

“After twenty years I knew I had done my time and my children were old enough. I had so many beatings, my eyes were always black, I had suffered a dislocated jaw that left me having to drink from a straw, he had head butted me so many times. It was living in constant fear of saying the wrong thing or not agreeing. Then one day I knew it was time to go and I did.”

The lady found peace after her split and now lives happily on her own and is glad of the decision she made. “When you stop loving someone you know it’s time to go and I did.

“I really want to urge anyone who maybe in an abusive relationship to please report it to the police. Nothing excuses this type of behaviour, nothing at all. I know we try and find reasons why it happens and even blame ourselves but that is wrong. Violence either men against women or women against men is totally unacceptable.”

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