Day 12. Anonymous

Wednesday 6th December, 2023

“I had no voice and no choice
I was 21 when I married my ex husband, we were married for 18 years.
Even before we lived together he controlled everything and sulked when he didn’t get his way.
His parents ridiculed me and he laughed in my face.
He lied about me at church and made people believe I was so mentally ill I was a nightmare to live with .
I was called a cunt every day, kicked, hit and screamed at.
When 2 kids came, after initially asking “is it mine?” he then used them to keep me a prisoner
He would hold the baby so I could do chores but never to let me rest
When my baby had an infection and was on oxygen in hospital he screamed that I had taken the baby away .
The nurses offered me a refuge but I thought he would find me
He kept the car keys, withheld money and would only leave the house with one child even if it meant him repeating a trip
I couldn’t see friends family, I could work but was expected to drop that whenever he needed me to.
He made me feel worthless

He made me feel worthless.

“He believed he was a superior being and I should care for his every need.
He would go on holiday to have a rest from the family and only go on holiday with the family with his parents to do any job he may have been given.
He stole my money and kept our money for himself .
He made stupid business decisions, ate through our savings but nothing was ever his fault.
I prayed I would die or he would die
He left, I was lost, but then I remembered I had a voice and it showed me never to return to that cycle of abuse again”

I prayed I would die or he would die

Some people question why we need 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls when men are more often the victims of violent crime.
This is true, most violent crime convictions are male perpetrators and male victims.
However, most gender based violence, such as this example, goes unreported and unconvicted.
Furthermore, whilst men do experience a lot of violence, it is mostly either gang related or from strangers on the street, such as pub brawls and muggings. It is not occurring in their own home. They are not being continually abused, for 18 years, by the person who is supposed to love them more than anyone else in the whole world.
The home should be a sanctuary, it should be the one place you can go, lock the door and be your most authentic, comfortable and safe self. The people we share our homes with should be sources of love, comfort and peace. None of this is the case for 1 in 4 women in the U.K.
For one in four women in the U.K. their home is the most dangerous place, it is their prison and it is filled with fear and destruction,
And those one in four women could be anywhere, they could be your kids teacher, they could be your doctor or your lawyer, they could be the woman who serves you a bacon butty in the cafe in the morning on your way to work, the woman next to you in the pews at church, your friends, your colleagues. We don’t talk about this stuff, we experience it in silence, in shame, and in secret. Domestic Abuse happens to all women, wealth, education, social standing, religion, none of these things make any difference to the numbers of women affected. Domestic Abuse does not happen to those women. It happens to us women.