One of our customers who has received support from our Redcar team of Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors, has made the decision to share publically her experiences. She has done this to show support for other women who may be experiencing abuse to encourage them to seek help.

We previously shared Carol’s story anonymously as a success story (you can read it here) as her incredible bravery is inspiring. To mark International Women’s Day, we would like to share with you two pieces written by Carol.

In this post we share Carol’s Victim Personal Statement that she wrote and read out in the trial against her abuser. This incredibly personal piece is an powerful testimony and Carol’s bravery in sharing it cannot be over-stated:

No one protected me from you Glen.  Sometimes I thought I would not be alive to see the next day, too scared to tell anyone.
We were both drinking but I did not deserve the beatings that you gave me, a lot that weren’t reported, you were too strong for me to fight back.  I never wanted my family and friends to know so I used to hide the bruising and act like we were ok.  You would beat me and then next morning say ‘you want a cup of tea love’ as if you had done nothing to me.
I suffered it for a lot of years Glen because I loved you and thought you would change.
I was sick of going to hospital with my injuries and lying saying I’d fell over or whatever.
I nursed my mam for 15months with cancer, still getting beaten.
Glen knows what he did to me, and he should be ashamed of himself, he needs to suffer like I did.  My friend has just been murdered through domestic violence, she supported me and that’s when I realised it had to stop.
I have been to my GP because I am still having nightmares, waking up thinking Glen is still here.
I am no innocent girl and have done crime in my past but I did not deserve to be beaten by Glen.
I gave Glen a chance when he beat me in his brother’s car while I was front seat passenger, Xmas last year.  I had to travel 300 miles home alone on Boxing Day.  Then I had to attend hospital to have my face drained.  All Glen got was a 5 week sentence.
I never learned from that, I went to court to get the restraining protection order lifted.  The judge said to Glen ‘go away and treat her like a princess’, he never, he chose to carry on beating me.
I do believe if I carried on with the relationship it would have ended in tragedy.  I don’t think I can ever get myself back to the girl I used to be because it tortures my head thinking about what he did to me.
I hope Glen never puts another girl through what I went through.  I never thought I could be strong enough to stand in front of a judge and do this but I have.
I hope this is the end now so I can try and rebuild my life with my family and grandchildren.

Glen was found guilty and was given a long prison sentence. Carol continues to build her resilience and is an inspiration to our team in Redcar, who share her story with other women that they work with.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline number is 0808 2000 247