I got with my now-ex at the beginning of 2016. He was sweet, caring and honestly my whole world. He had a lot of issues as a care child and he was homeless but I didn’t care. He made me leave all my family and friends to be with him, but I didn’t mind. The emotional abuse and coercive controlling came first.

He made me delete Facebook and wouldn’t let me have credit on my phone, at the time I was so in love with this boy I didn’t think anything of it. 5 months into the relationship we had our first physical fight. We were in a hotel and we had a normal couple’s argument, nothing unusual. He had me backed into a corner, and he punched me in the face and split my lip. I was a strong girl, I wouldn’t take shit from no one. I punched him back and that’s when he head butted me and floored me before kicking me in the face.

He was arrested and I was on the streets that night. I just couldn’t leave him so I denied everything to the police and he was released NFA. The next few months until August 2016 are a blur. He repeatedly beat me every few weeks with amazing periods in between. That was another reason I couldn’t leave, the good outweighed the bad. I fell pregnant and we was both really happy but the abuse got worse. He started to lock me in our flat which we was given by social services.

He would spend all of his and my money leaving me with no food. We had another argument again nothing unusual, and I became subdued and walking on eggshells to avoid what was coming. He smacked my head off the wall giving me several hematomas (lumps on head and concussion). He threw a cup at my stomach. The neighbors rang the police regularly, and they burst through and caught him on body cam smacking me head off the wall.

He was tasered and I was sent to a DV refuge in Oldham. I have a statement and was honest. He was released on bail, but something drew me back to him. I really wanted to fix him, I loved him. So we stayed together in secret. The abuse started becoming weekly, and even in public. He gave me black eyes, head butted me and once even spat on me. We went to court on January 6th 2017. I retracted everything; he promised he wouldn’t do it again and wanted to be a good father to his son. I was now 5-6 months pregnant. We left court hand in hand after he received a suspended sentence.

We just got a flat in Dewsbury and that same week he starved me to the point I was put on a drip in hospital for 2 nights. He didn’t visit. I came home and social services got involved and made a PLO meeting for the 17th of Jan. on the 16th January, that night, he nearly took my life. There was no argument this time. He beat me, punched my head in, kicked me, bit my face arm and leg, knocked me unconscious, when I came round he strangled me, gave me a black eye and was going to slit my throat.

I have never felt fear like it and when I think back to how bad it was I physically shudder every time. I couldn’t sleep but I didn’t want to go to hospital because I STILL loved him and didn’t want to get him in trouble. The next morning I realized it was him or my son. I packed my bags but he woke up and wouldn’t let me leave, he stood in front of the door and kept biting me till I was bleeding. I pushed him into the bathroom and ran and ran and ran. I didn’t stop running. I ran from Dewsbury to Wythenshawe, not once looking back, 6 months pregnant and all my belongings. I went to YPSF (young person’s support foundation) and called the police.

The workers at YPSF were shook, I had lumps on my head, severe old and new bruising all round my eyes and face, bite marks on my nose and hairline, my hands were actually black from bruising, not even purple but completely black from where I had covered my tummy and head, and a bite mark on my leg that required a tetanus jab and stitching. CPS took it out of my hands and we had court on the 6th of April. Unfortunately due to me retracting my previous statement the case was dropped as I was now an “unreliable witness”. But the abuse didn’t stop.

He stalked me, called me all the time, and attacked me at 8 months pregnant verbally in the city Centre. I changed my numbers and ran from home to home. He stole my ID and didn’t let me have my own bank account and then proceeded to rob my child’s money. My baby was born 20th May. He’s the reason I’m still alive. By November 2017, I had a new home new number and new bank account. I finally got a non molestation from court lasting until July 2019. I still see him and he still haunts me, but he’s scared of Jail and luckily the non mol is working.

I’m doing a women’s aid group called moving on which helps me see the signs of abuse, I’m really clued up on how to spot the smaller signs before it gets too big a deal. I would love to help others. It took me nearly a year after breaking up with him to be free. But I’m there now. And my beautiful child is nothing like him.

A. Campbell