‘My 18th birthday was when I got my first punch’: Woman relives domestic violence abuse
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A woman who was beaten by an abusive former partner has revealed how the abuse began on her 18th birthday, as a domestic violence campaign begins.
Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner and six out of seven of domestic violence victims are women, and nine out of ten of the defendants are men, according to campaign, White Ribbon.
Since 2005, the campaign has seen men wear white ribbons and pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
One victim, a woman in her 30s from Lowestoft, whose identity we have concealed for legal reasons, spent just over a decade with her former partner.
'I met my ex-partner when I was 17, I had moved straight out of my parents and in with him and within six months I noticed a change, he wasn't the nice person I thought he was at the time.
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'My 18th birthday is the first memory of the abuse - my 18th birthday was when I got my first punch.'
She said: 'He said he was sorry, that he didn't mean to do it and that I wound him up.
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'For a while, things were okay, we were getting along, but one time when my youngest son was downstairs, he strangled me.'
In 12 years, she had five instances of physical abuse, but it was the emotional manipulation which wore her down.
Her ex-partner would demand to go through her phone, stop her from working or studying and attempt to isolate her from friends.
'There was emotional abuse, I couldn't wear what I wanted and I had no privacy, my ex had gone all through my contacts and blocked my male friends,' she added, 'If I went to work, I would be accused of having sex with my boss.'
'Once when I was breastfeeding he kicked me with steel cap boots and because I was in pain, my daughter detached herself and she was screaming,' she said.
The whole experience caused her to suffer a complete nervous breakdown, but since leaving him she has turned her life around, has studied and is now working towards a degree.
She said: 'I get told I am superwoman, but you just you have to keep going.
'There are days where I completely crumble and I can't talk to anyone, It takes me a few days to come out of it but I come out stronger,' she said.