Domestic violence victim speaks out

FIONA (not her real name) had a knife to her throat before she realised that if she didn’t leave her partner, he might kill her.

This did not stop him from fracturing her ribs, cutting her hair off with a butcher’s knife, breaking her nose and hitting her hard enough to the stomach that she had blood in her urine afterwards.

“The emotional abuse started slowly,” she said.

“It was small things, then as the relationship got more serious so did the mind games.

“The physical abuse started in the last few months of our relationship, but looking back, it was from when we got engaged and started planning kids.

“It was firm grabbing of the arm at the start, which slowly escalated to more serious things like strangling and then it became full on.”

The physical scars aren’t all Fiona was left with – she had to leave her home town in the Peel region, her friends and her family.

“I was wary of running into his family or friends,” she said.

“I needed a shrink and didn’t sleep for a long time, but now I know I am safe as he is on remand in jail. I’m doing much better but still have a long way to go.”

Fiona said the way her case kept being drawn out was frustrating.

“When the evidence is clear they should not let the legal system be taken for a ride because (the accused has) a good lawyer or they are just trying to drag things out in hope the women will change their mind or drop the charges,” she said.

“A year after the beating which put me in hospital, there was still no resolution and this was after 12 or 13 court hearings,” she said.

Fiona believes there are not enough services – she would have liked help to relocate, plus clothing and a referral to a counsellor.

When she was trapped in the abusive relationship, she did not tell anyone, but now has a message for other women.

“Do not second guess yourself and trust your gut not your heart,” she said.

This is part of a feature on domestic violence.

You can read more here:

Top cop – domestic violence a rising problem

Abuse is a sad learning curve for kids

Women helping domestic violence survivors