*Disclaimer* – This is not a post to gain pity or your sympathy. This is a post, which is related to my life, on a very difficult subject and one that I am very passionate about.
Last year, I went through a terrifying time. A ‘relationship’ with an absolute creep and an all together, horrid man. I’ve touched on this slightly on my blog before, but never in detail. I’m still not ready to write about this in full detail and I honestly don’t think I will be for a very long time, but after seeing a video on Facebook recently, I thought it was time to write something. I was in a ‘relationship’ with a guy who told me he was 24. It turned out to be abusive, both physically and mentally ( I was very lucky that the majority was mentally and I only experienced the tiniest of physical abuse) and although it only lasted just over a month and a half, it was the scariest time of my life and to this day I still have nightmares and panic attacks. I was manipulated to believe that my family were against me and he got so far in my head that he made me believe a lot more things. I lost a lot of weight, did a lot of things that I did not want to do (and things that I thought I would never do) and made a lot of bad decisions due to him being inside my head. He took over my life and alienated me from everybody, hurting me more than I thought along the way. I didn’t know it at the time, but this plus everything else that I cannot bring myself to talk about (some things that not even my parents know about this time) was classed as Domestic Abuse. It scarred me mentally and even now, a year and quarter on, I still suffer from nightmares and panic attacks.
I know a lot of you have read my post about Anxiety and Depression (here) and this ‘relationship’ was a massive part of contributing to that situation. He was a horrible, manipulating person and he used his strength and my weaknesses against me to keep me in a situation that I should have never been in. He made me think that I was nothing without him. I went through a lot in those couple of months and it was incredibly difficult to get out of. It even took me a good six months to even feel the tiniest bit safe in my own bedroom, but I moved on. Or at least, I’ve done my best to move on.
Getting out of that kind of ‘relationship’ is the most difficult thing. I say ‘relationship’ in inverted commas when talking about the experience last year, because I don’t feel like it should be called a relationship. I was manipulated and forced and completely not in my right mind. To say that I needed my parents and the police to remove me from that situation, puts that in some perspective. My parents first intervened in the ‘relationship’ when they found some articles online about the guy I was with. Without my knowledge, they got in contact with people in my town that knew him and had had experience with him and in the end got in contact with the police who were working with Clare’s Law. They helped me escape the grasps of him and helped me understand what he was like and what situation I really was in. Domestic Abuse was first mentioned by the two police officers assigned and they offered me help to try and come to terms with what had happened.
Clare’s Law is a law where friends and family have the right to know if you are in a relationship with somebody with a history of domestic physical or mental abuse. The Law was created after Clare Wood was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009 and was rolled out across the entirety of England and Wales in May of this year. This was after a pilot of the law within Wiltshire. The pilot did an amazing job with helping me and I could not be more thankful to the officers that helped me and my family get away from him. You can find more information about Clare’s Law here. Clare’s Law and the officers that were on his case (he was apparently known in my area) helped me so much and they were a massive part of me being able to move on.
Moving on from that situation has made me so much happier. Right now, 1 year and 3 months since the situation last year, I’m sat at opposite ends of the sofa, legs intertwined with my new boyfriend. From everything I’ve experienced (and I know there are people out there that have gone through a lot more than me) I’m so happy that I’ve now found him and that I feel so loved and so looked after. It’s a complete contrast to what I was in just over a year ago. Moving on is the best thing I’ve done and for all of the people reading my blog that are within a horrible relationship or an abusive relationship, whether that’s physical or mental, just know that you deserve better. Nobody deserves a situation where they’re not appreciated and are being hurt. Men or Woman. Find the help you need to get out of it and you will be able to stand strong. I managed it, with the help of my friends, family and even the police, there’s a lot of help out there and it’s only an ask away.
I’m writing this today, because of a video that I saw circulating on Facebook recently. A girl was speaking to the camera about relationships that consist of domestic abuse (mostly physical in this case). She said that a person in a physically abusive relationship should be grateful and stay in that relationship. This video angered me so much. After being through a relationship like this, hearing someone clearly so ignorant to the whole situation and idea of Domestic Violence actually made me cry. It angers me so much that somebody could be so ignorant. I think it’s so incredibly important that the message of Domestic Violence is spread around and that Clare’s Law is made more widely known and not messages from silly little girls like that video.
If you are in a relationship, no matter how old you are, if it is physically or mentally abusive in any way, this is NOT normal. Go to somebody for help.
Clare’s Law helped me an awful lot and I wanted to try and share my experience and how I managed to get out of it with you all to try and spread the word. Clare’s Law needs to be known about, a lot of lives could be saved by the knowledge that the law can allow.
Have you seen the video I’m referring to? What were your opinions on it?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments…
Here are some links for Domestic Violence help and informational sites:
– http://domesticviolenceactivesupport.com–http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Domestic-Violence-Disclosure-Scheme—Clares-Law/1400022792812/1400022792812-News article on Clare’s Law – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26488011