The words I hate most in the world ” Shes stupid for staying, why doesn’t she just leave ” the truth is, by the time it’s happening to you it’s too late. I used to always say I would never stay with a man who hit me or tried controlling me, unfortunately by the time you have been hit the chances are you have already been made to feel so worthless that you are lucky that he’s chose you as a punch bag. And sometimes it’s not about the physical violence, the emotional abuse can be far more damaging than a black eye or a broken nose.
Now I know I’m talking about him hitting her but here are some uk statistics that might shock you.
- Will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime
- Leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year
- Accounts for 16% of all violent crime (Source: Crime in England and Wales 04/05 report), however it is still the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police
- Has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police)
- Is the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless (Shelter, 2002)
- In 2010 the Forced Marriage Unit responded to 1735 reports of possible Forced Marriages.
In addition, approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months, 200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide.
One in four women and one in six men is so incredibly scary, think of your group of friends, count them up and work out how many of them could possibly have or are suffering with domestic violence.
In 2007 a tall dark and handsome man started work at the same place as me and we instantly hit it off, we spent hours and hours chatting before he finally asked me out, I was over the moon because all the other girls fancied him. We started dating in January and by July we were living together, everything was perfect until we lived together. It started off with little things like commenting on my weight, I was size 12 but extremely conscious of my size by the September I was only eating 500kcals a day because he kept asking me if I had put on weight. Feeling conscious that I was putting on weight I stopped going out in the evening and although I didn’t realise it at the time this was the start of his controlling behaviour. From then on every time I wanted to leave the house he would tell me he was coming too so we could spend time together as a couple. At work he had stitched his hours to the same as mine so I was neither alone. In the October I started a course at college and he wanted to know everything about the people in my class and would often watch me work in the gates. Now most people would say why didn’t you leave at this point but while your living it you don’t see it the same, for every nasty comment he made he would do two things nice, like he would tell me I’ve put on weight and am getting fat but he would cook me a nice dinner and buy me flowers the same day, so in your mind you rationalise it, as he must love me to be doing this all for me and he must have been telling the truth about my eat. And this happening every single day soon chips away at your self-esteem.
At 00:02 1st January 2008 I received a happy New year text from a number that I didn’t know and that wasn’t stored in my phone, he dragged me home demanding to know who text me, when I said I had no idea he started calling me a liar and a slut. He screamed at me for 30 minutes before punching me in the face, splitting my lip and giving me an instant black eye. I ran up the stairs and called the police, he was arrested and held over night, 6am the next morning the police station rang me asking if I would pay for his taxi!! I waited for him to get home absolutely petrified that he would be angry but he wasn’t. He spent the next month being lovely, promising never to do it again and eased off following me. Although it didn’t last, the emotional abuse continued for the next year, within that time I didn’t see my family, I would make excuses, say I was working or away every time they rang. I was slowly becoming more and more isolated which left me feeling like I had nowhere to go even if I wanted to leave.
So I stayed, I figured it wasn’t so bad after all he had only ever physically hurt me once, little did I know I would be spending Christmas 2008 in hospital fighting for my life. On the 15th December 2008 I was sat doing college work when he started asking me questions about an email I received, slightly confused about how he knew about my email I just answered him trying not to make him angry. He then asked me about a boyfriend I had when I was 13, at this point I started to worry because I never told him about the email or the boyfriend. I told him he was being silly, I hadn’t spoken to the boyfriend since I was in school. ( Turns out he had been watching me log in into my email and had been reading them, and he had been reading my school diary which of course I didn’t hide because it was over ten years old and I was a child. ) But as soon as I called him silly he went crazy, jumped over the sofa and started punching me in the face. I managed to wiggle out from under him and run to the backdoor ( we left the key in the backdoor ALWAYS! ) I got to the door and the key was missing. He grabbed me by the hair and started smashing my head against the wall, before reaching for something. In a panic I grabbed something from the side and throw it as hard as I could throw the window. Next thing I remember is being put in an ambulance, and after that waking up in a hospital bed a day later.
The police came and told me I had been stabbed with a blunt broom handle ( imagine the force that took ), my neighbours rang the police after hearing the glass smash and the police were there in minutes. And thank god, because after I went unconscious, he went into the loft and tried to hang himself. Apparently in our tiny little street there was four police cars, fire engine and two ambulances, it took the police four hours to talk him out of killing himself.
He was my next of kin so my family weren’t there and I refused to tell the hospital their numbers, I didn’t want to course them any hurt. Eight years later my scar is still there and my family still don’t know ( they don’t read my blog so I’m not worried about them finding out, which might sound weird but I dont want my daddy to ever know because it would absolutely break his heart to know he didn’t know it was happening. ). Unfortunately despite pressing charges nothing ever happened to him and I had to carry on working with him, I do know that without the police and the NHS I wouldn’t be here today and for that i am thankful.
Now I know this was a slightly different blog post than normal but I feel like domestic violence is something that should be spoken about more often because it’s nothing to be ashamed of, if it’s happening, happened to you, remember it’s happened to you not because of you. And at this time of year it can be rather stressful and trigger a lot more fights, it certainly was the case for me. And if you know it’s happening to someone else and can’t understand why they stay, you just have to make sure you are there for them, unfortunately most people do not leave until they are ready or worse until something really bad happens. Just offer love and support and don’t give up on them and if it’s happening to you, I hope you find the strength to leave and start living the life that was meant for you.
And remember to talk more! If telling my story helps one person in the world than it was worth it. Please share this and let’s help others by just bringing light to a subject that’s been in the dark far too long!!!