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Domestic abuse victim backs campaign
A VICTIM of domestic violence has backed an awareness campaign to encourage more people to speak out.
The victim, who prefers to remain anonymous, is supporting Cheshire Police’s ‘speak out, don’t be silent’ campaign in the hope of helping fellow victims gain the courage to leave abusive relationships.
She said: “I would say once is enough, don’t go back and fool yourself that they won’t do it again. It takes a lot of courage to leave a violent relationship, but if you don’t recognise yourself anymore then it’s time to make a fresh start.”
She had fallen pregnant with her boyfriend of three and a half years when he first hit her.
“We went out for our anniversary and he’d run out of money and I didn’t have much left on me so he made us walk home which was about 10 miles or more.
“I had to keep running to catch up with him and it was getting dark.
“He pushed me into the road and walked off – I almost got run over.
“I didn’t tell anyone at all as I was too embarrassed.”
Her boyfriend would shout, smash plates and even lock her out of the house at night, but it was only when he gave her a black eye that she finally decided enough was enough.
“I found a picture on his mobile of him and a girl kissing. When I confronted him he gave me a black eye.
“My family and friends didn’t know he was hitting me because I used to cover the bruises up on my body with make up or wear long sleeves.
“To this day now, six years later, he still loves me and has tried to get back with me.
“But there is no way I would ever get myself into anything like that again for the sake of my own son.”
Her final message to all victims is to look out for the warning signs.
“Don’t put up with it - it will only get worse if you don’t tell anyone.”
To read more about the campaign, visit Cheshire.police.uk and for help and advice, call the national domestic violence helpline on 08008 2000 247.