Domestic Abuse | Clare’s Law

*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. 

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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. 

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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.comhttp://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

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9 Comments

  1. December 3, 2014 / 9:32 am

    You are very brave for being so open about your experience. I was in a mentally abusive relationship while at uni and it changed me into someone I was not. I lost many friend because they gave up trying to prove he was a bad person. That's the bit I regret the most; not listening to my friend and family. For over a year he convinced me I had something wrong with me, that I was 'obsessed' with him because I would call him each day to chat, that I shouldn't wear dresses or makeup because I'm only doing it to attract other men, that I was secretly a lesbian with my best friend and so on. How ridiculous! I'm glad I can actually laugh at those things now. He never hurt me but he was violent- he smashed part of my student house wall, kicked in the door, and even hurt himself on purpose then said I drove him to it. He hated the fact I had parents (because he didn't). He smoke far too much weed and didn't have a job and guilt tripped me into buying cigarettes and weed for him by crying and saying he would have to go on the street and pick up tab ends. The list goes on. He was fucked up and I reckon he was schizophrenic. His mood and personality changed with the wind. I felt I needed to help him, at first, but then he managed to mentally grasp me and i couldn't escape. Thankfully it hasn't effected my future too much. I laugh at it now as I find that's the best way to deal with it. The experience has made me appreciate what a lovely man I am with now and I never take him for granted.
    Miss Tulip x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

    • December 3, 2014 / 9:50 am

      It really means a lot to me that you took the time to write this comment. Hearing about other experiences definitely helps; makes me feel like I'm not alone in this. Thank you so much for sharing. Spreading the word that this is not normal, but that it happens is the most important thing here. xx

    • December 3, 2014 / 10:05 am

      🙂 no worries. I believe it helps sharing experiences just so we know we aren't alone and other people understand- it's comforting. Crazy thing is; I knew it wasn't normal when I was going through it but I felt it would get better and he would change. I felt trapped in a vicious circle of self belief then self doubt. It's a horrible situation.
      Miss Tulip x
      The Thrifty Magpies Nest

    • December 3, 2014 / 11:28 am

      It definitely does help. I know how you feel, you think that it's just a blip, but when they don't change and your family start intervening, you know that there's nothing more that can happen and that you need to get out. xx

  2. December 3, 2014 / 10:05 am

    Wow! It's unbelievable that people like this exist. Thank you for being brave enough to share this and i hope every girl reading this understands that she never in any situation put up with this!

    Wish you all the best 🙂

    • December 3, 2014 / 11:27 am

      Thanks so much. It really is all about spreading the message that this is wrong an that it shouldn't be happening.

  3. December 7, 2014 / 10:27 pm

    This is so inspiring and in some ways, I can personally relate although I don't feel it was as serious for me. So nice to see someone else who went through something similar talking about it openly, shows you aren't the only one.

    Stay strong,

    Becca x

    beccaemilyx.blogspot.co.uk

    • December 7, 2014 / 11:01 pm

      I'm so sorry to hear you went through something similar. No matter how severe or how minor the abuse is, mental or physical it is still abuse and not normal. 😘 hope you're feeling much better about things now and had the help and support you needed like did and still have. Xxxx

  4. January 28, 2015 / 9:18 pm

    You are so fortunate to have gotten away from that situation. And so brave for speaking up for others

    xx

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