On 27th December 2010 I arrived back from the Next Sale forgetting to buy my husband paracetamol for his headache on the way home. It caused him to lose his temper in-front of my two daughters & three step-daughters…by this point we had been together for ten years and it was a familiar scene…that day I left, like I had done so many times before, only when I arrived at my mums this time I called the police.
Two officers arrived and watched my husband frantically circle my mums flat in his car & they listened to the constant voicemails where he screamed “Why are the police there? Why are you talking to the fucking police? Think about what you’re doing”.
They then heard the voicemails change to him sounding calm and rational saying “Come on baby. It’s a row. Just come home. I love you”….
If it hadn’t have been for the patience and time those police officers gave me that day I wouldn’t have made that statement. I wouldn’t have been honest when I answered their Domestic abuse risk assessment and I wouldn’t have agreed to let them be present at my marital home as I cleared out my belongings.
And as my family and friends helped me clear out mine & my babies clothes I listened to him tell me he was sorry, in front of those Police officers. I listened to him tell me he would change this time and as he begged and his tears came I wondered if I was making a mistake – but those officers and that support network reminded me why I had made the choice I had.
Afterwards the threats & abuse started – and some were carried out. My mum got investigated for benefit fraud, he attempted to destroy one of my siblings marriages with false accusations of infidelity, every single one of my friends were paid visits – my best friend saw him outside her house with a baseball bat in his hand, my car was keyed, my Managing Director walked into my workplace with our dog which he had found tied up outside & I was repeatedly assessed by social services for child neglect and abuse.
I was stalked – he followed me in his friends cars so I wouldn’t recognise him and he hid in bushes outside my new home.
And after the threats and abuse came the apologies and false promises….most of the above my eldest daughter saw and still remembers….
…..and that cycle of abuse was as intense when I left that marriage as when I was when I was in it….and I was frightened. There were times I considered going back for an ‘easier life’ and there were times I accepted that I’d just be controlled forever.
Today I’ve spoken to the mum of the stunning girl in this post.
She was a thirty year old mum of three beautiful little girls…she left her husband after years of Domestic abuse. She had left him many times before – only this time it was for good..and as she got stronger being away from him he saw he was losing control.
On Saturday 28th April he stabbed Faye to death.
Her mum will now try somehow and continue to live without her daughter, her friends and family are left destroyed and one day her babies will learn that their Mummy died under the most horrific cruel circumstances.
Right now, this month, seven women be murdered in our country by a current or former partner.
This is the exact reason Domestic abuse needs to be highlighted.
It’s why every agency from our schools to our Police force need a full understanding of Domestic abuse to support men; women and children to leave and remain safe.
Faye – I am so sorry – I am devastated we have lost another mum, friend, daughter – another amazing woman who should be waking up tomorrow to do the school run.