I never thought domestic abuse would be part of my life. To be honest, I didn’t really know what it was. I hadn’t heard of the term before and when I did I just thought it meant physical. So that’s why over 7 years down the line in a relationship (well I had left him 3 months prior) that I was physically attacked and had to ring the police. I feared for my safety. That’s when I started to try and get help.
Domestic abuse had started at the very start of my relationship in 2012 I was only 17. That relationship ended in 2019, I left. Why didn’t I leave before? A common question loads of people ask which I actually find irrelevant. I think it’s a foolish question however I don’t judge those that ask it. It’s sometimes due to not having an understanding.
I was being abused in so many different ways in my 7 year relationship that I didn’t even realise was abuse. Where I was so young I just presumed it was normal. Normal? Definitely not. Let’s highlight some of the abuses shall we.
Physical – took place after the relationship ended when he wasn’t happy that I wanted to sell the property. He also wasn’t happy about many things but that’s his problem. It only happened the one time, but one time was enough. Just the push did it for me.
Coercive Control – intimidation or controlling behaviour. Intimidation was the main one for me. Always belittling me and making me feel small, embarrassing me in public and having a tantrum if I said no to anything.
Psychological Abuse – also known as emotional abuse. Argument after argument, it was always my fault. Making my anxiety bad.
Financial/Economic Abuse – always losing his bank card so he’d have to use mine, taking money out for drugs, not paying the mortgage or bills. Still in the property to this day. Rent free for him since 2019! Lord give me strength.
Harassment and stalking – posting the non-molestation order online and making rude comments about me to all his “friends”. Also when he was trying to build a case against me in court (a case which weren’t going to get very far) used my laptop to stalk me.
Which brings me onto online abuse – all of the above and logging into my personal social media through my personal laptop and taking screenshots of everything I did. “She must be lying as she’s going out”. No I’m going out to try and live a normal life. A life you took away from me.
That’s only a few examples but you get the idea, it’s not just physical. I had alot to learn but I wanted to know it all. So I went on the courses, got myself help and then spoke out. It was hard speaking out but it helped me overcome the fear. Will he see anything I do? Maybe. Do I care? No. Why? Because no names are mentioned, he’s still “protected” from what he’s done. Is he relevant to my life? No. Apart from when I share my story.
So now on top of my day to day role I am an advocate, mentor, blogger, volunteer, survivor of domestic abuse. That’s powerful. I do it everyday. So now it’s always a part of my life. Since I was 17. But I’m okay with that because now it’s not negative. It’s positive.