This is the story of a woman from South Yorkshire who suffered domestic abuse for 18 years.

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G suffered abuse at the hands of her perpetrator a long time ago when there were less support services available for victims of domestic abuse.

In total, G and her partner were together for 18 years. As in many cases, G’s experience started on a smaller scale with little digs, or overly-hard taps that her partner would then apologise for. However, over the years, he became increasingly possessive.

As means of control, G’s partner made her get rid of friends, and stopped her from seeing family members. He would constantly check on where G was going, or who she had spoken to, even accusing her of having affairs. He wouldn’t allow G to have any mail, phone calls, music or tv. This level of control even extended to forcing G to terminate a pregnancy.

In time, the abuse became physical. G’s partner began physically and sexually abusing her. Beating her, strangling her until she became unconscious, and attempting to kill her on numerous occasions. To further isolate G from reaching out for help, her partner influenced neighbours and told them not to listen to her if she spoke about the abuse.

Once the couple had children, G’s partner began abusing them too. He emotionally abused the children until they were terrified of him, leading to her son needing to go on antidepressants and see a psychiatrist at just 9 years old. When seeking help for her children, G was told by the hospital that they could admit the children for their safety, but could not help her.

Like many in her situation, G tried to leave many times;

“One Christmas Day, he hung me over the bannister,

threatening to kill me.

That night the children slept in their clothes and I told them

“in the morning, we run”.

On Boxing Day we escaped to the hospital for safety, but he found us. We had to return home with him. After that, things intensified.”

With the support of a friend, G entered into a six year battle to get him out of her and her children’s lives.

When the courts did step in and evict him, he set fire to the house with G and their children inside. At one point, he was granted a custody order which allowed him access to the children, but this led to more abuse of the children.

Finally, he was ordered to keep away permanently.

There are now so many support systems available that weren’t there for G;

“You don’t have to be ashamed and you certainly should not carry the blame.

It is not your fault. Nobody has the right to hurt you.

Never give up hope.”