News from Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The scars from all his abuse will never leave me

A brave woman who escaped a violent partner tells her story

IN our latest article on the campaign to tackle domestic abuse in Worcestershire, a woman tells of how she received help to escape from the domestic terror she suffered.

My relationship began when I was just 16. The violence began five years later after the birth of my son.
I remember the first time vividly; I had just finished breastfeeding my son and, after 11 months, I planned a night out with my friends.

Just as I was about to leave to drop my son off with a babysitter, he arrived home and immediately started shouting. He said, ‘You are not going out, you’ve not washed up” and then he punched me in the face five times.

MAKING A STAND: A candlelit vigil was held outside the Guildhall in Worcester in
support of the White Ribbon campaign against domestic abuse on Thursday. Picture
by Nick Toogood.
Over the years, the violence escalated and continued until I left at the age of 30, having spent more than 15 years of my life in a destructive and abusive relationship.

My son was 13 when we left and due to the nature of the abuse we received, we were forced to leave our home and live in a refuge more than 60 miles away from family and friends and the lives we had built. We stayed in the refuge for six months and were then rehoused.

The support we received from Stonham (see below) was phenomenal and I don’t think I would have been able to cope with the move and the emotional upheaval, if it had not been for the outreach support we had after leaving the refuge. With their support, I am now settled in my new home and even though the scars of domestic abuse will never leave me, my children and I are now safe and well.

International campaign the 16 Days of Action – supported by the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic  Abuse and your Worcester News – runs until Monday, December 10.

How Stonham Helps

Stonham is a division of Home Group, a registered social landlord providing housing, care and practical support for vulnerable people. Within the last year in the county, Stonham’s domestic abuse service has supported 215 women and men. It has also supported 154 people through its recovery courses. During the festive period, 35 children were living in a Stonham refuge in the county.


  • Since January 2012, there have been 6,857 incidents of domestic abuse in Worcestershire.
  • The average number of children exposed to domestic abuse per quarter three or more times is 69.
  • The number of times a child was exposed to domestic abuse between October 2011 and September 2012 was 5,831. This figure relates to 4,716 separate children.
  • Domestic abuse affects one in three women in the UK with around one in six victims being men.
  • In an emergency call 999. Call the Worcestershire Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 980 3331 or visit worc