As you can imagine, we at Dawn’s New Horizon have seen and heard many stories about the horrific experiences that people have had to deal with as a result of domestic violence. We are very grateful to those who have let us publish their stories for the benefit of others.
My name is Elaine. I have suffered domestic violence for just over three years. It all began like this:
I met this guy he know my brother he started talking to me out of the blue on a Friday afternoon when I was on my way to the doctors well we became a couple a little after four months. Well everything was fine up until this Sunday afternoon about three weeks in to the relationship he threw an ashtray over me. He then left I thought it was just an isolated incident. He said he was sorry upon his return then everything went fine until a month later. Then he started acting odd stopping me from leaving the house. He said it was just a game which I thought was strange but I still stayed with him. Well he went to prison for common assault on a man and held on remand whilst he was in prison I found out I was expecting his child. Well when he came out I thought he was going to love the thought of being a father for the first time but that’s when I found out different. The violence really got bad he slapped me due to me not giving him any money for alcohol. Then things went from bad to worse. 25th of September I called the police due to him assaulting me due to me being heavily pregnant. He was arrested but later released without charge. I had my little boy on the 8.11.08. by emergency c section.
My son was then placed under the care of social services I tried to get away from the domestic violence but I failed due to baby’s grandmother telling the father where I was. Well after my son was taken from me I was intent on getting rid of the domestic violence. After a few weeks I had the father arrested and charged with common assault he went to prison for six weeks. And then a few months later the same again but each time I have him put away he comes back and repeats the same over and over again but I never got my son back he lives with the violent ex’s mother and the domestic violence still is going on. I have been strangled punched in the eye I have been kicked spat at locked out of my home by his relatives’ I have had death threats but it still continues till this day and it has now been going on for over three years I am not allowed to see my son due to the grandmother saying no I think it may be spite due to the son my sons father controlling things I am not allowed to go anywhere if I do I get questioned for hours at a time where have I been who was there where did I go with the person and so on. He has even started starving me. Due to breaking in my home while I have been out the police have started to disbelieve me due to the ex being so convincing with his lies truly want to get away from this but I have limited help no one will help me move to a different area domestic violence unit won’t help me find anywhere they say I have to find my own place due to me having pets I have lost my child I will not let a man force me to get rid of my animals they are all I have……
Anonymous story 1
I was a young girl who thought she had found ‘the one’ but it all took a dramatic turn. I had been with him for about 8 months when it all started, I had found out I was pregnant and he decided that he would turn to the drink even more. First it was a slap here and there and then it got worse. I wasn’t aloud to go out, without him coming with me, nor was I allowed to eat healthfully during my pregnancy. Then I left half way through my pregnancy but as a young pregnant girl I thought when he said he had changed, he meant it. NO he carried on the verbal and emotional abuse. I then went on to have our son, he seemed to stop the drink and was being a doting dad until the sleepless nights kicked in and that was it slaps if he got woke up . We then moved into our own home after living with his mother, everything seemed fine.
One night he decided that he wanted to make love, I said no as I was tired, but no he carried on pushing and pushing I kept saying stop but he didn’t listen so in the end I just laid back and gave in. This happened a few times but I just carried on. Christmas day came and it was lovely until I wanted to call my parents, no I wasn’t allowed, so I just sat there, all of a sudden the coffee table went flying , so I put my son in his cot , so he was safe. Then he decided he would get a kitchen knife and said “if my mum comes he would kill her “at that point I grabbed my son and fled the house. This was when I moved home.
But then after about a month I went back, stupidly I know. After about a month of living with his mum again he drank a whole bottle of vodka well that was it. I grabbed the phone rang my mum and she said she would come and get me. Quickly I grabbed a bag of things I would really need, and waited. While I was waiting he grabbed me by the throat while I had my son in my arms and pinned me up against the wall, shouting, swearing, and all sorts. My mum finally turned up, I ran out with my son put him in the car with my bag and a few bits, and then I went back into the house only to be confronted by him throwing punches. I ran out and he went straight for the car kicked it and threatened my mum. That was it we managed to get in the car and we left.
I haven’t seen him since, only in court where his mother stuck up for him and he got off with everything.
One thing I didn’t realise at the time was that what he had actually done to me was RAPE. I regret not telling anyone till now (8yrs on) but I have let it out now and it has helped.
Anonymous story 2
This began in the early 80s when there was little support or understanding on Domestic Violence. It was never spoken about and there was nothing in the newspapers so I could not relate to anything and began my early 20s thinking it was normal.
The violence started with a slight slap to the face- which yes, I will hold my hand up and say I did it back. The slaps on the face which I would get then turned into a punch on the arm or a harder slap round the face which I did not return as I knew I could not do it that hard nor would I want to hurt someone like that. This violence started very early on in the relationship – from around 2-3 weeks. I had been living alone for around 7 months, moving into my own place after splitting up with a man I loved very much, and I was not looking for another relationship at this time. The punishing and slapping didn’t happen very much so I didn’t think it was a problem at the time.
8 weeks had passed with the odd punishment and name calling. He lost his temper quite frequently, not just with me but with his friends and his parents. He still lived with his parents but would come over in the week and sometimes stay over.
A few months had passed when I found out I was pregnant with his child. This was fantastic news for me, as this was something I had wanted to happen, not with this man but from someone from my past and no matter how hard we had tried we could not conceive. This was a strain on our relationship and we parted. Now finding out I was expecting a child from this new relationship still did not matter to me as I knew I would love and want it.
As a child I always felt I was not wanted or loved by anyone, except for my step- grandfather. I had always said if I ever had children I would never let them feel the way I did. I was always alone as a child. I was one out of four, but somehow I was always the odd one out. I found out when I was 12 years old that I did not have the same father as my other sister and two brothers.
Finding out the great news I was pregnant I told my partner – Lord, the roof came in that day! We were in his car when I told him; he looked at me and said “well, I hope you told the doctor you do not want it”, to which I could not answer; I just looked at him and he drove me home. During the following few months lots happened: we got engaged, we got a flat together, and we got married. After we were married I had now found myself a new family and his family were also now mine. He had a small family with mother and father, only one brother, and a few nannies, one granddad and a lovely aunt. Some family members were lovely, others i couldn’t stand to be around. His father was a very horrible man. Before my husband came to live with me, his own father would beat him and his brother very often. When my husband moved out the father would then beat his other son and his wife.
During the time I was pregnant I was rushed into hospital very often; I was punched in the stomach, pushed and shoved lots. When I would arrive at the hospital they would check me and say I needed to rest as I was bleeding lots and they didn’t know why. I was never asked have you been hit or anything like that. Even if i were asked there was no way I would have said yes, as the man who had done it was right next to me. After returning for the 8th time to hospital with bleeding, I think someone must have seen a pattern at last and asked me the question I had longed to be asked “has your husband done this to you? But the only problem with this was he was right behind the curtain and I knew he would have heard the questions, so I said NO.I only wish I had a pen to write YES but i didn’t.
After 9 long months the time had come for me to have our baby. I was looking forward to this day so much. I was in hospital for 7 hours. In this time I was told by my husband to put up with the pain and was not allowed any pain killers. Staff at the hospital wanted me to have something to help with the pain and after hours and hours he allowed me to have gas and air, but only when he thought it was ok. This didn’t help, so in the end the doctors gave me an injection which helped right away. He was not happy as they did it when he had gone off to the toilet. A few hours later our beautiful daughter arrived into the world and she was perfect.
Once our daughter was born and home, somehow I thought things would change and get better for both of us. How wrong I was. I became very depressed and felt so alone. I had postnatal depression but I did not understand what it was. When our daughter would cry I had to rush to her as he would start to shout at me to shut her up. One day, we were in the car on the way home when the baby started to cry. My husband became very angry in the car and started to shout at me and also at people on the road. He pulled over on the road and made me take her out of the car to shut her up.
Because I was depressed I did not want sex at all. But this would not stop him. When I said NO he became very aggressive towards me, so I gave in and said ok. I was there but only in body, not in person. This carried on for months: me saying No, but him just taking it when he wanted. I found it easier to give in to please him, to keep the peace. After four months of our daughter being born I found out I was pregnant again. This came as a shock to me; something I knew I didn’t want. I knew the child would not be happy and also not wanted by him. I was told by my doctor to consider having the unborn child aborted. The doctor knew about my husband as I had told him many times after our daughter was born that my husband was hitting me. I returned home to tell my husband that I was pregnant and that I was not going to keep it as we were not ready and we could not provide for the child as it was a struggle to provide for us 3, let alone another child. He said ok.
The next few weeks went by in a bit of a blur, until the day came for me to go along to the hospital to have a scan. The nurse at the hospital was so horrible to me; she made me lay on the bed half naked while she examined me. She really hurt me and made me cry. She was so cold to me; she looked right through me, while she looked at the baby on the screen. She turned the screen away from me so I couldn’t look. I then had to wait to see a doctor before I could go home. My husband was outside the door waiting for me. I just fell into his arms crying. When I told him what they had done, he started to shout at them. He left the hospital and I had to see the doctors alone. The doctor explained to me that I was 4 months pregnant and I had fallen pregnant just 1 week after our daughter was born. I remember just sitting there crying. The doctor said nothing to me apart from giving me a date to come in and have an abortion.
The day arrived. My husband had made arrangements with his mother to have a roast dinner at hers while I went to hospital alone. Because I was four months pregnant I had to have the foetus normally, without any help. I remember so many people coming into my room asking me to keep the baby or give the baby up for adoption. I tried to explain to them I could not carry the foetus for 9 months. They did not understand that I would be hit, I would be raped in the months up to the birth, and I could not tell them. I was given something to help me pass it and I had to wait until it could take its course. I was told it would take about one hour to pass. When the time came I was to call them and they said they would come in the room right away. They didn’t. I had passed the foetus and had to wait 15 minutes for them to come into the room and take it away. I lay there, could not move; it was laying there but I couldn’t see it. I did try but couldn’t. I just lay there and cried -I was so alone. When they did come in, they just cleaned me up, took away what they had to and left me there for 4 hours alone. I phoned my husband to collect me -I had to wait as he was eating his tea.
We never spoke about that day again until 12 years later.
The domestic violence on me carried on for many years. He never hit our daughter until she was around 4-5 years old, then it would be the smacking around the head or on the back of the legs. She had her own bedroom which I was so glad of, as she would spend lots of her time in there alone playing with her toys. She always had to be in bed by 6pm so we could have ‘our time’ as he called it.
One occasion I remember very well: I had put our daughter to bed at the normal time and shut the door as I was always told to. My husband had got me a bottle of Pernod as he knew I liked it. By the time it was 9pm I had drunk half the bottle and didn’t feel very well. My husband then asked me to drink the rest of the bottle neat which I started to do -I was very drunk by this time. I could hardly walk and I remember him asking me to do sex acts to him which I didn’t want to do. At this point he hit me very hard in the face, not once but twice, calling me a bitch and telling me I was not a fit mother. I could hardly walk as I was so drunk. I fell to the floor and I remember seeing his shoes coming towards me and then I felt the full blow in my leg. I remember just laying there crying and asking him to stop. He said I was useless and I deserved what I got as I was drunk. He left me there laying on the floor and went to bed. I crawled to the bedroom and looked in on our daughter to make sure she was ok, and she was. When I got to the bedroom he was in bed pleasuring himself with some of his magazines and said I should be more like the women in them and laid them on the bed beside me while he raped me. As time passed by he raped me many times and the mental abuse became worse.
As our daughter was growing up she didn’t know domestic violence was wrong in any shape or form. She became to know it as the normal thing and accepted it. I had met this person when I was in my early 20s; I was now approaching late 20s and I was still with him. I thought I loved him, but what had happened was much more than that. From being a very confident young lady I had turned into a very frail young person not knowing who I was any more. I had no family and no friends. The family I had once known – he had turned me against them; the friends I once had I didn’t see them or talk to them as he said they were all trying to take me away from him, and I was not going to let that happen as he was my husband and that would not be the right thing to do.
As the years slipped by so did I; I was weighing 7 stone. My husband would call me fat and ugly among other things and I believed him. Our daughter had grown into a young girl now reaching the age of 10 years. We had moved – I thought a new house, a new beginning!!
We moved into the house like a normal family would. Our daughter got on very well with children around where we lived and mixed in very well. She met a young girl a few doors down the road and become very close to her. She would ask if she can stay over one or two nights at weekends, which I didn’t mind as this would get her away from the fighting and she could be a young girl and do what children do.
When our daughter was at home with us she was not always allowed to sit in the same room when we had a meal; she was sometimes made to sit in the kitchen with the dog and the door closed. This was because my husband said she made too much mess and didn’t want the mess in the living room. I remember one evening we had finished tea and I went into the kitchen and our daughter had dropped peas on the floor. He made her pick them up; he dragged her off the stool and pushed her onto the floor. I grabbed hold of him to stop him. He pushed me off and I went flying. Our daughter was screaming. He picked up an empty tin of biscuits and threw it at me. It missed but hit the bottom of the cupboard and put a nice dent within it. He was in such a temper I grabbed our daughter and took her up to her room, where I told her to stay. I returned to talk to him and asked him to say sorry to our daughter but he would not. He clenched his fist and hit me right in the face, cutting my lip -blood went over the wall. He walked away. The following morning our daughter could see I had a bruise on my face. She asked how I got it and I lied “I walked into the cupboard”, to which she replied “oh, that’s why the blood is on there”. I felt so sick I had lied to her, it was at that point I realised she now knew what was going on, but I didn’t know how to stop it.
In the years to follow I fell ill and was now 6 and a half stone. I would only eat very small amounts and food would make me feel sick. I didn’t want to eat with him so I would eat in the kitchen with my daughter and the dog. Our dog was very loving to me and our daughter but she hated my husband; she would look at him with sad eyes and would show no love towards him. They do say animals can sense things and I know our dog did. My husband said i could go to the doctor’s and seek help with my eating as I was always ill. This was a new chapter in my life but I didn’t know it at the time. I spoke to my doctor regarding my eating, and he asked me if I would like to have counselling to see if this helped. I said yes.
The counselling started a week later; I looked forward to it as I would have someone to talk to about everything. I started talking about my little family and how much I loved them both.
The counsellor would listen to me and not say much. I thought to myself “well she cannot be much good as she is not doing anything” -how wrong I was.
The following weeks she began to ask me questions; things like so do you like the fights with your husband? Do you like him hitting you? Why do you let him hit you? Do you have sex with your husband? Do you enjoy sex with your husband? I remember I could not reply to any questions she asked. I told her I would leave this session and return the next week with the answers. When I returned from counselling this time, my husband asked what we spoke about. I told him and he went mad. He phoned the doctor’s surgery and made a complaint about the counsellor. After a week he had calmed down and he allowed me to return as long as I didn’t talk about the things that she had asked me. I was not looking forward returning to see her this time, and I knew she would ask me questions. She did ask the same questions again, and I replied. The answer was the same to all the questions: NO. What I learnt that day will live with me forever. Being young when I met my husband I was very naive regarding life; me saying no to him when he wanted sex and him taking it when he felt like it had become something I had learnt to live with, and accepted. It was something all marriages did. The counsellor told me that “rape within a marriage was still rape and was not right”. I felt numb; how could I have been so stupid and let him do this to me. I had become a nothing, a nobody. I felt so sick. The counsellor had also got me to think about me as a person. To me I was just me, a person to serve my husband and my daughter; I didn’t matter.
The counselling was still going on after 5 months. Every time I walked into the room, I left a different person. After 5 months, I had begun to see myself different and my husband in a new light. I remember one morning I told my husband I was seeing the counsellor, but I was not: I had made an appointment to see a solicitor and ask her advice on divorce. When I started talking to her and she asked me why I wanted a divorce she began to cry. After a few minutes she held my hand and said I will help you. Over the next few weeks I had felt myself grow stronger mentally..
One night I remember my husband saying to me “I want sex tonight, strip off”; I replied “NO”.
I was ready for what was about to happen as he forced himself onto me once more, he jumped on me, ripped off my clothes as I was screaming and crying stop. Once again he raped me and I was just laying there like a nothing -it was like I was looking down on myself. When he had finished and got what he needed, he got off, and then he said “you whore, you asked for that”. I remember crying myself to sleep that night. Over the next few weeks I went to see the solicitor a few more times and also the counsellor. Somehow I had made my mind up I was leaving him for the last time; I had tried 3 times before and gone back, but not this time.
Christmas had come and gone once more, another year had gone and I was still in the same place I was 11 years ago -very unhappy and alone. I needed to find strength from within, and I set out to find me again, before it was too late. I took up the courage and went to see my sister. I hadn’t spoken to her for over 5 years; we had not really fallen out, just drifted apart as I never saw her and she didn’t like my husband. She was shocked when I went to her door but she did welcome me in. We sat and I told her what my plan was -to leave my husband in the next few months, and that I needed her help. She agreed that I could take a few things each week to her house, things like clothes for my daughter.
Over the next few weeks I could feel myself become stronger. I had found somewhere for me and my daughter to stay when I left, the divorce was in place ready to be served and I had a small amount of money saved where he couldn’t find it. On the week leading up to me leaving, things started go wrong for me. I’m not sure if he had picked up on me becoming different, but he started to say things to me like “what if we moved far away and started again” and “shall we try for another baby?” I had told our daughter that we were leaving and she was upset that she was leaving her dad but understood why we had to leave; I knew she was hurting on the inside. She decided to stay round her friend’s most nights just to keep away from being home.
One night she came home as her friend’s family were going out. I had made plans to go out that night, but my husband was at home to look after her. I went out at 7.30; he put our daughter to bed at 8pm telling her to stay there and don’t get up. After a while she heard the front door make a click sound, so she decided to go to the front bedroom to see where her dad had gone. She could see him walk up the road into his friend’s house. After 10 minutes he returned home carrying some videos. She put herself to bed before he got in the door.
As I took her to school the next morning she told me what had happened, and she told me how scared she was being in the house alone. When I got back home from dropping her off I went into the bedroom to wake him. He was in bed as normal -he would stay in bed until 12 sometimes- and I asked him what he got and why he needed to get them to which he replied “I didn’t get anything; I didn’t go out”. With this I began to look for the videos; I knew what was on them, I just wanted to see his reaction at me looking for them -I would never had done this before. He began shouting at me “get out get out!!” He grabbed me by the throat and started to poke me -he always poked me in the throat as he knew that hurt. We started a big fight. I went down the stairs and he followed me. I was going into the cupboards looking for them; I was determined to find them, not sure why but I just was. He was pushing me around and calling me names. I went into the kitchen; he followed me, then he went into the garden to calm down. When he came in, he said nothing and nothing more was said.
After school that day our daughter asked if her friend could stay. I said it was ok; she was happy as she knew her dad would be nice when people were around. After tea our daughter and her friend went to her bedroom and stayed there playing music. Later that night my husband started to argue again, wanting to know who had seen him go out. I would not tell him so he began to throw things at me. First it was his glass ashtray that missed me and hit the pipe on the wall -it left a big dint. He came close to me, grabbing my jumper, “tell me, tell me” he was shouting but I would not. He lent in very close to me and went to smack me across the face. I jumped back and the look on his face was shock. I then said to him “that will be the last time you ever do that to me again”. With this, he picked up the armchair and threw it at me but it missed. I could not believe I had done and said this to him. He then walked out of the room and went out to his friends. The children came down to make sure I was ok, and I was. I was in shock; I had done it but I was still ok. Days later I left for the last time.
He was aware I was leaving and allowed me to take a few bin bags of my things and a few things of my daughter’s. He watched us walk out of the door with the few bags and said “see you in a few days” and laughed. I went and got the other items I had stored and arranged a lift to the B&B that we were going to stay in. The people there welcomed us and the room had a nice feel about it. Our daughter carried on going to school; I had arranged transport to her school as it was far away. My husband had been to the school and told them I had taken our daughter and that he did not know where she was. The school then let him see our daughter when she was at school. I had told our daughter not to tell her dad where we were and she did not. I was told he would be out every night looking for us but could not find us.
Our daughter had some letters she had to take back to school with the new address on them; they were in her bag and he found them.
When I found out I was very frightened but the B&B had cameras on the property and made us feel safe. The owners were aware of him and they kept an eye out for him. As soon as I could, I tried to find another place for us to stay, once again running away from him.
Every weekend our daughter would go with her dad; I would take her to Norwich so she could see him. I would drop her in the city at Burger King; he would be in there waiting for us. He looked so cold and lots of hate in his eyes. Many times he would start to shout at me in the shop; people would look and he told them right away what they could do. After 4 months in the B&B we had our own little flat, and we were looking forward to moving in. We had nothing to put in the flat but we would be safe once again. As we getting items for the new flat and painting it was looking like our own home and it felt good- some place we could call home as it was safe.
Our daughter wanted to carry on seeing her father. This did make me very upset as she would return home with bruises on her body many times; when I asked her how she got them she would say “oh, it’s ok mum; me and dad were just playing; don’t worry” but I always did. On two occasions our daughter came home with very bad headache and both times I took her to hospital as she was dizzy and felt sick. The hospital told me she had concussion. When I asked our daughter what happened she would say “nothing: I fell off the stool and banged my head”. On the last occasion she came home again with a bad head I was once again not happy. This time she was very white and her eyes looked black; she did not look right and I phoned the hospital and they advised me to take her in right away.
Once again she had concussion; this time I was very angry and in hospital I asked once again”how did this happen?” This time she told me her father had hit her over the head with a very heavy and thick cook book, “only playing”. I stopped contact right away. I had tried many times but he went to court and got to see her again. At this point I had no trust in the law as every time I tried to protect my daughter he always won, and I hated him for that.
Again after a few months we were back in court and yet again he was able to see his daughter, but on the understanding that reports were done as our daughter was now saying she did not want to see him again. He would not have any of it.
One night after our daughter had gone to bed I was painting our new kitchen bright yellow, something I had always wanted to do. I had nets up the window and curtains; I could see a shadow of a man, a tall thin man. My heart stopped; I dropped the brush and went into my daughter’s room. She was asleep but I stayed there for a while. Slowly I returned to the kitchen. I looked out of the window and could see nothing. I remember staying up all night with the light on.
Our daughter was now 12 years old and had made new friends at school which was nice. He had been notified our daughter was at high school and I felt he would now try and make contact once again, even though he had been told by the court not to until reports were done. I knew if he wanted to do something he would, no matter what. One night, while our daughter was asleep in bed, I decided to have an early night, listen to the radio to help me sleep. I had not turned the light off very long when I went cold and I could see a shadow outside the bedroom window, (we were on the ground floor). It was the same shadow I had seen weeks before. I shot up the bed but was unable to move; I was very cold as I could see the shadow get closer to the window. It stopped and stood there. I knew right away who it was, the same shadow and same hair, very wispy hair, tall and thin person. I thought “oh my god, he has found us” and I froze. I could not move; after about 5 minutes he went off but I was unable to move so I stayed there for about an hour. I did eventually move and went into the kitchen. I dared not go to the front door but I looked through the window and the front door looked ok.
The next morning I phoned my solicitor and reported my husband, within days we were in court.
He had his 2 witness to say he was at home all night very ill. I went to court with my solicitor, she was very supportive and helped me. As I walked into the court room, he sat there all happy flicking the dust from the table and I had to sit next to him but I could not -my solicitor sat next to him. I was shaking and felt so sick. I had to go into the stand first. I was feeling so very ill, I must have looked a sight as I was all bone and very small. With all the stress and worry i had lost more weight and weighed just under 7 stone. As I was in the court his barrister was trying to rip me to shreds saying I had invented the story as a way to get back at him. This was not true, the barrister was trying to get me to say I was lying but I was not; I knew what I had seen and I knew who it was.
Then I looked at my husband in the court and he sat there laughing at me. I could not stop myself from crying. Judge Jacobs asked me if I was ok. I remember saying “I will be ok as I am telling the truth”. The barrister then with a very smug face said “I understand you have a new boyfriend”, I said “yes”. The look on my husband’s face was pure anger. He went white and he thumped the table, which made me jump. The barrister then called my husband to the stand to give his side of the story. He said he had been very ill in bed that night and he didn’t know where I lived, so how could he had been there outside the window. He sounded so confident in what he was saying it made me feel sick.
The first witness was called for his side, he also sounded very confident and made my husband out to be some saint. The second witness was called, and the same questions answered but this time they were different answers which did not make sense and made the whole story a lie. My heart sunk and I thought now please can someone believe me. The look on my husband’s face was thunder as his brother stood in court and got the story wrong, but his brother was telling the truth; it was my husband and the first witness who had lied. The judge then went off, and they took an hour. When I went back into the court room my husband’s face was very white with anger; he had devil eyes into which I looked.
We were all asked to stand, and the judge asked the two witnesses to return to the court.
He asked both of them to stand before him. The judge said “there has been an offence committed today and that is one of perjury, but today we will not deal with it”. He then looked at my husband, while the verdict was being read. We find you GUILTY.
My heart sunk and I started to cry but as my husband was next to me I could not move, but I could feel the tears fall down my face. My solicitor looked at me and smiled, but I did not want to smile. He was given an injunction with a ‘power of arrest’ attached, which means that once the injunction is enforced, if the defendant breaches the order they can get arrested. Oh my god, someone believed me was all I was thinking. “Do you understand the sentence?” he was asked; he replied “YES”. I left the court in a blur; I remember getting on the bus, and getting off, then running home. I got inside and dropped to the floor. There I stayed what felt like hours just crying and crying. I just knew somehow the nightmares would still not be over. A few months after the court hearing I asked my boyfriend to move in with us.
Contact had once again started with my daughter and her father and she would come home upset but never told us why. My boyfriend and I decided to try for a child as I had always wanted to have more children but didn’t want them with my husband. My boyfriend loved kids and would love one of his own as he came from a large family. Things were going right for once in my life; I felt I was on track once again. After 5 months of trying to conceive, I went to see a doctor and was told I might not be able to as there were complications. Nevertheless, a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. We were both so happy and I was going to be a mum again; very proud.
After four months I found out I had cholecystitis, and had to attend hospital every week for blood tests. My liver was not doing very well and I was told there was not much left and I was asked if I wanted to carry on with the pregnancy.
I was devastated and so was my partner, but no matter what there was, no way I was giving this baby up. I attended hospital for my scan which we were both looking forward to.
As I was at the hospital every week they had got to know me by name which was nice.
We sat in the booth waiting to be called when I had a big shock: in walked HIM with his girlfriend -they were there to have her first scan of their baby. She swore at me and left the booth. I was then called to the side of the corridor and told I would need to see the doctor before I left and I just knew it was bad news.
We were told that I would need to have a Caesarean in a few weeks; if i did not, the baby would not make it and neither would I. I left the room and had to wait for the nurse to give us a date to come in. As we waited HIM and his girlfriend had been told to wait by a door and we were also there. The nurse came over and said to us “now if you can come in on ## July to have your baby this will be ok”. What!!! HE stood there and looked at me. This was HIS birthday. There was no way in this world I would be doing that. He smiled at me; I had to walk off to cry. I did go into hospital the first week in July 2000; on the 18 July we had our son. He was taken away as he was not breathing very well and could not keep food down. They did a scan and told us he was just over 3 months early and he had not formed all his organs so he was taken into special care. After 4 months he was allowed home with us.
Things now seemed to be just right for us and I was very happy with my two children and new partner. My partner proposed to me and we had a big Engagement party. Things seemed to get better for us; the EX husband was still around picking up our daughter and dropping her off at the end of the road, but all seemed to be going well. That was until it was going to be our daughter’s 16th birthday. I was told by a 3rd party that if the EX did not have full custody of our daughter by the time she was 16 years he was going to disown her. The day of her birthday came and he picked her up as normal down the road. Off they went and I gave her a mobile phone and said “any trouble I will be there”. After two hours I got a call. “Mum come and get me!!!” she was screaming down the phone. It took me about 4 minutes to get to her; I will never forget the look on her face when I got there. From that day on we have never spoken to him, my daughter has not seen him and she does not want to.
I have now remarried have two small children and I love all 3 of my children the world.
I will not say life is easy but I have learnt to cope with the flash backs along with the memories which are not nice.
I have also found that talking to others about what happened to me helped. There may not have been anybody around in the 80’s to talk to but there is now.
I would always say to anybody who is being abused PLEASE PLEASE get help and get out. It did take me 12 years and and 12 years of abuse was a living hell, but it has made me stronger and i would NEVER let any body take my body and sole EVER again.
Abuse comes in many forms and the wounds heal, but the memories stay forever.
I have lived but many people do not. He did say many times he wanted me dead. He never got his wish and I am alive today. And I now love my life and have left Hell behind me.