Six years ago, like many others, I unknowingly entered into an abusive relationship.
I really had no concept of what an abusive relationship was, I was ignorant to the reality and never thought I would ever become a victim.
Although at first this relationship seemed perfect, it soon became controlling, emotionally abusive and sometimes physically abusive. I was lured into false hopes of a better future and moved to a remote village away from friends, family, my job and any form of a support network. Sadly, this happens all to often. Perpetrators of abuse use this method to gain complete control over their victims so it’s harder to gain help or escape the relationship.
In January 2017, my youngest son was 12 days old at the time and was being used as a means of abuse towards me. My ex partner would stop me from breastfeeding my newborn. He would also physically restrain me from comforting my crying baby. This is when I realised I needed to leave the relationship in order to keep my children safe.
My ex partner realised what I was doing and pinned me to the stairs by my throat in front of my then 4 year old. He proceeded to take my newborn son and lock them both inside my car before driving off.
I tried frantically to get in the car, shouting for help like my sons life depended on it.
I vividly remember a neighbour being stood outside their house, watching, watching while I experienced the most traumatic moment of my life, and they did nothing.
This is why it is important that people are educated about domestic abuse and should speak out if they are concerned about a family member, friend or even a neighbour.
You may be the voice they need to save them.
Alternatively, if you are wanting support or guidance, IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.
They were my lifeline and helped me rebuild myself after my ex partner had reduced me to a shell of my former self.
I am now lucky enough to volunteer for IDAS in my local area. I am able to support people emotionally and practically and offer advice from first hand experience.
Being able to do this is my silver lining of a truly awful period of my life.