One woman speaks of the hell she went through with her abusive ex-husband.
Breaking the silence and refusing to be shamed, one local woman tells of the hell she went through with her abusive ex-husband.
The 43-year-old’s ordeal happened 15 years ago after going on a blind date. The Buxton Advertiser has chosen to keep the woman’s identity anonymous and not name the ex-husband because no criminal charges were ever bought against him.
She said: “The whole world thinks victims should remain and stay quiet but we should not be made to feel ashamed, it should be the perpetrator who has to be held accountable to their actions not us.
“I came from a nice family and always thought this happened to other people but it has happened to me and we must make the victims feel like they can speak out.”
Initially her partner was nothing but charming and the couple were married within 10 months.
“The day after my wedding we were still in the hotel and I rang my father crying because he had changed so dramatically and I couldn’t work out why.” Looking back, the mum-of-three said he had already started making her feel isolated and alone by removing her support network of friends and family.
“He got so mentally and emotionally abusive that I didn’t speak to people when I took my son to nursery as I didn’t want him to think I was flirting with the other dads.”
When she became pregnant with her husband’s child and the mental abuse turned to physical violence.
“I was so vulnerable and he knew it, he beat me until I was black, blue and bleeding but there was no rhyme or reason so I could never be prepared.” Although she had tried to escape twice she was told her family members would be killed if she went to get help so doing what she thought was right at the time, she stayed.
“There was one time I was washing the dishes and he hadn’t even been in the house when I started but he came up behind, attacked me, left me lying in a pool of blood and stepped over me telling me I needed to get a sense of humour.”
After the birth of their daughter she said he hated the baby crying so went nose to nose with her and screamed at her and did it so regularly she became a selective mute for months on end.
“I was hysterical and felt like a terrible mother because I couldn’t protect my children, I used to feed him and send him to the pub just so I could get him out of the house and keep people safe for a couple of hours.”
It was the midwife and health workers who helped her leave after noticing she did not speak to them and was covered in bruises.
After having a caesarean she rejected the nurses offer for help because she felt she needed to be physically strong enough to leave so if he caught her she could take the beating and survive.
However, it was only days later when she finally walked away after taking yet another battering.
She went to her aunt’s house and calls were made to put her into a shelter as she feared for her family’s safety if she stayed.
After the shelter she started again with her two small children, however he found her.
“I remember I had barricaded the front door shut and was sitting at the top of the stairs with a kitchen knife knowing he would kill me if he got in but I was going to stab him so his DNA would be at the scene when police found my body.”
The abuse ended after that as he entered into another relationship, in which he was also an abuser, his parents disowned him and took him to court to try and keep another of his children away from him.
“My life went from strength to strength after that and I was able to be happy.
“It didn’t happen right away and I was crying in the doctors after it was all over and he had moved out of the area because I was begging to get my dignity back so the doctor put me through counselling.”
It took her a long time to enter into another relationship but she went onto have another son however the couple split amicably.
“I want the stigma of domestic abuse to be gone, I want to educate people that there is no set type of person who becomes abused, I know men and women who have suffered some form of domestic violence.
“I have my voice, my dignity and my clarity back and I have been through the healing process and can speak out and my advice to anyone who may be suffering and doesn’t know a way out is talk to a doctor, make an appointment when you know they won’t be there to stop you going and see someone.
“These medically trained people will be able to read the signs even if you can’t say anything but remember that you are not alone and don’t worry about what people think no one is judging you they just want to help.”
If you are someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, help is available at Crossroads Derbyshire www.crossroadsderbyshire.org 01457 856675, National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247, Derbyshire Police Non emergency 101 or 999 in and emergency, Samaritans National Helpline 08457 909090 or High Peak Citizens Advice Bureau 08444 3752712.