Hidden Hurt Domestic Abuse Information

Sarah's Physical Abuse Story

Little did Sarah know that the boy she had admired growing up would provide her with her very own physical abuse story. Here are Sarah's words as she charts her descent into and then back out of the trap so many of us recognise.

I first met my ex when I was 11. His family moved to a house down the road from ours and he used to hang around with my older sister and her mates. He sometimes came to ours for tea, was funny and chatty and I was smitten. He then moved away and got into drugs- mainly heroin and crack cocaine. By 18 he was serving a 3 year prison sentence for supplying drugs.

When I was 19, I was visiting my home town for the weekend (having moved away to University) and I bumped into Pete, who had been released from prison 3 weeks previously. He was looking well and was clean from drugs and I saw that old sparkle in his eyes. I saw it as fate that we should meet up again and I had always liked him, so we soon got together. My parents hated him, knowing all about his drug using past and practically forbid the relationship. This made us more determined to prove that we were for real. The usual story then, things started out great between us. He wanted to spend a lot of time with me and visited me at my Uni halls. He made me laugh, got on well with my Uni friends and I fancied him rotten. He was still having to report to Probation and attend twice weekly drug tests, in line with the terms of his release, but I just saw that as a formality- he had finished with drugs. We had a great 9 months together and decided I would spend my gap year from Uni in my home town, so as we could move in together. We found a lovely flat and moved in during September.

The first week in our new home, Pete promised a quiet weekend together, but by Friday night, he was heading for the door alone saying that he had spent all week with me and wanted to see is friends now. He also said that, as we lived in a small town, I could not go out in town as we would bump into each other and he wanted some time with his mates. Desperate not to admit to myself that this was not normal, I went along with it. This lay the foundations for what would become a weekly occurrence. Pete started messing around with drugs again. At first it was just taking ecstasy and a couple of lines of cocaine at weekends, and he regularly smoked cannabis 'to help him sleep'. He played this down and said how everyone did it, drugs are only a problem when it's heroin and crack cocaine, as they are the only drugs you can get addicted to- I had no reason to doubt him, he was in control. He used his drug using as a way to control my movements at weekends. Every week, he would be depressed and say he was disappointed that he had been out drinking and doing drugs-he would seem really genuine and upset. He begged me to stay in with him the following weekend and I would refuse any invitations from friends so as I could be there for him. In any case, my friends and I had always gone out every Saturday night. However, every Friday it was the same result- he would often go out before I even got home from work. If I called his mobile, he would say he had only gone for 2 pints and would be home in an hour so I must wait in for him. I would continue to call him a few times during the night, until he shouted at me and then turned his phone off. The following day, he would be full of remorse and would beg me to stay in on the Saturday with him, as he felt unwell. I dutifully did so and steadily stopped seeing my friends for regular nights out. Pete truly believed that having a baby together would help him to avoid the alcohol and drugs. Therefore we stopped using contraception, despite me having doubts, as I just wanted him to be happy. Luckily for me, despite 2 years of 'trying' for a baby, I did not conceive- I am truly thankful for that.

It wasn't until December that year that things became physical. I had gone out on Christmas Eve with my friends in our local town (Pete had agreed that this was allowed as it was Christmas Eve). Pete was also out with his friends. Around 10pm, I saw Pete' brother who was really concerned. He told me that Pete had bumped into an ex boyfriend of mine and had lashed out at him. I did not bump into Pete myself until later on and he said that we should go home together. I was happy to, as I was drunk and wanted to be up the following day and seeing family. On the way home Pete was very agitated. He was accusing me of spending the night with my ex boyfriend, simply because he had been out in town aswell. By the time we got to our top floor flat, he was really shouting. He told me that I wasn't having my Christmas present and threw this across the room. The next thing I remember is being dragged down the stairs by my hair, as all of the contents of my handbag fell out and rolled past me. I stayed still at the bottom of the stairs (he had only dragged me down the first flight, which was about 30 stairs), not daring to move. I was later joined by most of my clothes from inside the flat, which were thrown down the stairs onto me. As I had my handbag and therefore my keys, I waited on the stairs until I heard him get into bed, knowing he would be out like a light due to his drunken state- I don't know how long I waited there- and then let myself in the flat and got into bed beside him. The next morning, he denied any knowledge of what had happened. My version of events was however confirmed by the bruises on my arms and back and also my missing Christmas present which we spent a while looking for. Pete would not discuss what had happened and said I shouldn't make him feel guilty as he had been drunk and I had probably exaggerated it anyway. He made it clear that anything that had happened was my fault, as I had too many ex boyfriends and he was always going to have to see them around, knowing they had been with me sexually. This is where I came to regret being honest about my sexual history. As it was Christmas, I didn't want to leave him and make a fuss, in any case I loved him, so I decided that it was probably a one off as he had had so much to drink. I remember that my sister bought me a T-shirt for Christmas that year and I was paranoid that she would see the bruises when I tried it on.

There was then an enforced reason for me not to go out in town - I didn't want to risk seeing an ex boyfriend incase Pete heard about it. Whilst that first time did not signify regular physical abuse at that stage, the emotional abuse and manipulation continued to increase, steadily so as I didn't realise. This was mainly in the form of ensuring I stayed home alone, saw less of my parents (as they didn't like him) and even ensuring that I had to leave work early so as I could make his tea and be home to greet him. Pete also ensured that I didn't wear low cut tops or short skirts and I was only allowed minimal make up for work, incase I met other men. He pitched this is a way that made me think that he was protective and caring. There was not a spoken threat of violence should I not obey, more the threat of losing my relationship, which by this time I had built up in my head to be the best thing ever. I also felt that I was lucky to have someone like Pete, as he constantly told me how difficult it was that I had had previous lovers and how that made me a 'slag'. He would question me about my previous sexual partners and would then use those details against me, saying that I was not worthy of him and how much this had an impact on him and what others thought of him. He would never discuss any of his previous partners, saying it was none of my business, but would be angry if I didn't tell him about mine.

We had our first holiday 9 months after moving in together. We had a lovely time until 1 week in, when we met some of the local reps- all female- and they invited us for a night out with them and we were both really keen. However, when we were out, the girls seemed to chat to me more than him- probably so as I didn't think they were chatting him up- but this upset Pete. He was whispering to me how I was a slag and he didn't know why these girls were talking to me and not him. It was difficult, as I was trying to hide what he was doing and act happy. He eventually insisted that we leave. On the way home he let loose, calling me every name under the sun in the street. Luckily there were not loads of people around as it was very embarrassing. He tried to grab my handbag from me, which had our hotel key in and I instinctively pulled it back, ripping the handle off. I then knew I had angered him and saw it in his eyes- so I ran. He ran after me, god knows how he didn't catch up, but he tried to take a short cut to beat me back to the hotel, but failed. I let myself in, but didn't dare lock him out as I knew he would kick the door in, so I went in and sat on the sofa in the dark, hoping he would just come in and go to bed. He was fuming and came straight over to me and punched me in the mouth- I didn't see it coming in the dark and he had never actually struck me before so it was unexpected. He left the room and went to bed, passing out shortly after. I sat in shock, which turned to rage after a while. I went into the bedroom and took a picture off the wall and hit him with it over the head. After an initial scuffle, he reacted by cowering and looking frightened- I was shocked at my behaviour, having never been violent before and my head was all over the place. The next day, Pete put the blame onto me for what happened and flatly denied punching me, despite my thick lip where my tooth had broken the skin. I felt that I couldn't blame him due to my retaliation, in any case we had a further 7 days in this foreign country together. I admit I wanted to leave him on that day, but by the end of the holiday, he had won me around by being the 'perfect boyfriend'.

However, a new standard had now been set. Any night out we had following this would result in him whispering insults to me and telling me that I couldn't speak to certain people (mainly men), even though they were in the small group we were sitting with. If I did, he would say that I fancied them- again in whisper- and would let me know that this would be discussed when we got home. It got to the point where I would have to ignore people, even if they spoke directly to me. His favourite insult was to call me a slag, which he always related back to me having had sexual partners prior to our relationship (not even many!) and he knew that this upset me- again him making me feel like 'damaged goods' and lucky to have him tolerate me. One night, we were in a bar going through the usual routine and I went to the toilet. I got chatting to a group of girls I knew and the next minute, the door flew open and Pete was standing there shouting at me for taking too long, in front of everyone. He then stared at me angrily and stormed off- I knew this meant trouble and I was right. He stormed through the pub, aggressively pushing over everyone in his way. I felt responsible and so chased after him and grabbed his arms when I caught up with him- the bouncer grabbed me and started to restrain me until someone told them what Pete had done and they accepted that I should sort him out- he was a big guy- 6ft and 17 stone and even the bouncers feared him. We went outside and Pete aggressively threw me into the main window of the pub and I fell on the floor (for all to see). This was unlike him to do something so public and it empowered me for his behaviour to be revealed. It also brought out the anger and violence within me and I hit him to the head with my handbag- again he was instantly submissive and I felt awful or what I'd done and what I felt I'd driven him to. The following day, he went to the pub and told me how a large group of local people had told him how crazy I was and pitied him for how violent I was- it felt like a cruel injustice as I felt that his behaviour had been worse, yet had not been discussed (although I am not justifying my actions), but I later realised this had probably not been said at all.

After this, we stopped having nights out together where alcohol would be involved. I can't remember if this was actually discussed or we both knew it wouldn't work. However, this didn't stop his behaviour- it just meant that it came later on in the night. I would dutifully stay in at the weekend- I was working most Saturdays at Alton Towers anyway and had to be up at 6.30am. Pete was out every Friday night and would never tell me where he was going, who with or whether he would be coming home. He often switched his mobile off so as I couldn't make contact. Somehow we fell into a new routine. If he did arrive home, I would hear him come in and he would come into the bedroom to check I was there. I assume he spent the evening convincing himself that I was with another man, as he would then keep repeating how I was a slag. I would pretend to be asleep and make noises at appropriate times. He would clearly be out of it- it was worst if he had mixed alcohol with cocaine or crack cocaine. His behaviour then varied. Sometimes he spent ages in the kitchen eating and then came to bed, passed out and pulled the duvet completely off me, calling me a slag and saying it was my fault- so I had to sleep with no cover. They were the better nights. Other times he would demand sex- he was so unattractive with his eyes rolling in his head and his jaw rolling around (due to the cocaine), but I was fully aware that he would be violent if I did not go along with it. I would go through the motions, but at times he told me I wasn't enjoying it enough, so I would have to over-act and pretend to enjoy it. Sometimes he called me a slag during the sex. On other occasions, he came home and had decided that we were splitting up, as I was a slag- he may have seen my ex boyfriend in town or he may have 'been told' something about me- I don't know if this was fantasy or people causing trouble. On those occasions (which were the most regular), he would drag me from the bed, usually by my legs and would drag me around the bed, through the bedroom door (up a step) and open the front door to our flat, dragging me outside and shutting the door. The lights were on a timer so I was fully in the dark, not daring to move. I never actually spent the whole night in the corridor, the first time he let me back in after a while and just went to bed. After that I got clever- I would go to bed wearing tracksuit bottoms and a vest top that could be mistaken for pyjamas, so as he wouldn't get angry. I would also have my house keys in my pocket or would position my phone and keys on the ledge next to the bed, so as I could grab them whilst being dragged- he never noticed me doing this as far as I was aware.

The next significant and one of the most hurtful experiences is centred around my 21st birthday. I had been looking forward to this event and to my surprise, my parents actually agreed to inviting Pete out for a meal with us, despite their hatred for him. They were trying to make an effort as we appeared to be staying strong together. My birthday was on the Monday and so the previous Friday, we all had a meal together. Pete was distant with me prior to this, but was good as gold whilst we had our meal. When we got home, he was not happy again, but didn't talk about it- and I couldn't help feeling let down, that this had spoiled the evening. The following morning he did not hold back, when he heard me talking to my friend on the phone about our night out in Nottingham that night. We had a bus booked and there were around 8 of us going. Pete said that I was only going away from our home town so as I could cheat on him. He also said that I should be sensitive to his feelings, as he had not been able to celebrate his 21st due to being in prison. He said that I was rubbing this in his face. He wouldn't speak to me throughout the day and I ended up cancelling my night out in Nottingham- I don't remember what excuse I used- and organising a night out locally instead to make him happy. Pete also organised for his parents to come over the following day to take me out for a meal- he was well aware that I suffered badly with hangovers and would not be able to do this and he told me that I mustn't dink too much so as not to let him down. Again he was attempting to control my behaviour. I had a lovely meal with friends that night and had a lot to drink, despite Pete' warning. We went to the local pubs afterwards and on to the local nightclub. At around 12.30pm, Pete called my mobile and I was very drunk- he said I should leave the club and meet him and we could go home together, as I was clearly too drunk. As I went to meet him, he was standing ahead of me and I couldn't see him- this made him very angry and he said that I was an embarrassment and I clearly would be capable of cheating in that state. We walked home together (our flat was right in town so this took 2 minutes) in a frosty silence and once in the flat, I wish I could detail exactly what happened, but I can't. I'm not sure if I have blocked it out or whether I was just far too drunk to remember- all I have is a flashback of being dragged by my hair from the sofa onto the floor. I don't remember anything else, but the bruises were very real the next day. The following day I was very hungover and Pete' parents arrived with presents for me. He was clearly in a mood and even said to me whilst they were out of the room, that he was upset as his mum had bought me presents and he didn't get any for his 21st- this was to ensure that I felt guilty for enjoying my birthday weekend. I was clearly unwell at the meal and Pete delighted in telling his mum that I was hungover and making me feel guilty. The following day was my actual birthday and Pete left for work at 6.30am, leaving my presents in the front room. I tried to call him later to say thanks, but he refused to take my calls. He didn't speak to me all day on my birthday and we ate tea in silence that night. Not a nice way to remember my 21st, I was aware that I needed to improve my behaviour in future.

Another (rare) night out I had was for my best friend's birthday. There was an unwritten rule that he couldn't stop me going out when it was an occasion like a friend's birthday and he could not control where we went. I think part of him knew he should keep them on side as he saw them as a threat who could turn me against him, especially since the violence had started. He started calling me when we were on our way back- I was supposed to be staying over at my friend's house in a village which was a 10 minute drive from my town. Pete was accusing me of being with another man and said that if I didn't come home, that would confirm his fears. What could I do- I was terrified of losing him, as I felt I could clearly do no better than him. His calls and text messages continued, resulting in me making the decision to drive home- I must have been 4 times over the drink drive limit and clearly could have killed myself or someone else. I convinced my friends that I had sobered up and they could not have stopped me anyway- there was too much at stake. I have very little memory of that drive home- bearing in mind we lived opposite a Police station, it was very lucky for me that I wasn't caught, although being caught may have given me a wake up call. When I got home, I entered the bedroom, hoping that Pete would be asleep. He didn't say a word, just sat up in bed and punched me in the side of the face. He said a few harsh words, before lying down in bed and going to sleep- his possession was now home and had been adequately punished for her actions. What stands out to me the most is the injury caused- the bruise was very faint- so much so that Pete just denied its existence and denied anything had happened. This man was 17 stone of pure muscle and I had seen him hit grown men in a rage and knock them to the floor- this punch was not about a loss of temper, but was about resuming control and was deliberately not too hard so as it could not be detected.

Another way that Pete found to hurt me, was by trying to create a wedge between myself and one of my best friends. He came home from work one day and casually told me that my best friend's boyfriend had been sleeping with a mutual friend of ours- she had told him this. He also said that I'd better not think about telling her about it as it would get him into trouble- he was fully aware that telling me this would put me in a difficult position and I now believe that this was deliberate. However, my fear of him meant that I kept quiet and this has gone on to cause no end of problems between me and my friend in later years and so I suppose his plan worked. Another example of his jealousy of my friendships was when I attended my best friend's mother's funeral. This was clearly an upsetting day for her and therefore all of us and I wanted to show my support. I had to be at work at 7pm that evening, so Pete had said that I had to be back by 3.30pm when he got back from work, so as he could see me that day. I didn't argue, I had learned not to do this by now. However, things ran on and I didn't end up home until 5pm, although I did text to tell him I would be late. He was fuming when I got home and said that I had been selfish - it wasn't until he saw me in tears that surprisingly he backed off - and just stormed out.

Around this time, I had started working on the bar at Alton Towers hotel. I had worked there throughout the year, but had been in housekeeping before, which consisted on female staff predominantly. Pete hated that I was now on the bar, meaning that I was working evenings and mixing with other men- however he had no control over this, as I was there on work placement from University. Whilst at work, I became friendly with a guy, enjoyed the attention he gave me and saw him as a potential escape. We used to exchange the odd text message, only friendly and not sexual, but this made me feel powerful over Pete and every text I hid from him made me feel stronger. However, one day we were in the video shop when I received a text from a mutual friend. As I showed it to Pete, I pressed the cancel button by mistake and this revealed a message from this other guy, which was harmless in what it said, but it had a kiss at the end. Pete saw the look of terror on my face, as I knew how he would react- he blew up, stormed out of the video shop and was accusing me of all sorts. He grabbed my phone from me and refused to give it back. This was a brand new phone, we had both got the same one, and he knew I would be upset if he broke it. When we got back to our flat I refused to unlock the door until he gave me back my phone- big mistake. Pete cornered me against the wall with rage in his eyes and kicked me extremely hard and aggressively on my leg. I instantly fell over, bearing in mind I weighed 7 ½ stone and was 5ft 8- my legs were really skinny. He then threw my phone at the wall and it smashed into a million pieces. He then phoned his Grandmother and said that I wouldn't let him into the flat and asked her to come to our flat with her spare key. I then gave him the keys and we both went up the stairs and into our flat. He went into our bedroom and swiped all of my things off the dressing table, smashing my jewellery box that I had received for my 21st birthday. He started throwing my clothes down the stairs, saying I had to leave. We continued to argue and he came at me in our kitchen- I grabbed a frying pan which was on the draining board and hit him over the head- at this point, his Grandmother pressed the intercom- I was literally saved by the bell. She was angry with me, saying that I shouldn't stop him coming into his own flat. He told her that I had attacked him with a frying pan for no reason and despite me telling her that he had kicked my leg and me clearly limping, she took his side. Although I was upset that she was there, I suppose it must've calmed things down as when she eventually left things were just frosty between us. Of course, Pete ensured that I knew how I had made him feel and that if I was lucky, he would forgive me for receiving the text. He said that it as my fault that he didn't trust me as I was a slag- the usual. He refused to get my phone fixed and could not give me his to compensate for smashing mine. I had to pay £40 to get it replaced on the insurance. I was also limping for days afterwards and had a huge bruise. I had to tell people at work that I had walked into the bed post.

It amazes me that I let things go on like this- my only light at the end of the tunnel was that I knew I was restarting University in September and hoped the relationship would fizzle out. I also was afraid to leave him, as I thought he may harm my family in retaliation, blaming them for me leaving him. I can't remember whether he ever threatened this or whether it was just something I feared.

Nevertheless, September came around and I was due to move back to Sheffield. Pete was clearly moody about this, but agreed that we would see each other every weekend. Pete also said that I couldn't get a job, as this may interfere with us seeing each other, so I had to attempt to live on my student loan (which by the way is impossible, when you are paying for train travel every week to see your partner). Those first couple of weeks, I felt free. I spoke to him on the phone every day and he ensured that we spoke late at night so he could monitor what I was doing, but I was more free than I had been for the last year. He made sure that I knew that going out drinking was off limits- how could he be sure I wasn't cheating? He said it wouldn't be fair of me. So, a few weeks in, I made the decision to go out anyway and just not tell him. I spoke to him at 9.30pm and acted the part of being very tired, despite having had a couple of drinks. I then turned off my phone, as I did every night and he was none the wiser. Unfortunately that night, one of my flat mates had a male friend staying and they all came out with us. This man offered me cocaine whilst we were out and I felt that such rebellion would be the icing on the cake. When we got back home, he continued to supply me and another of my mates with this 'cocaine'- I can't be sure that it was cocaine as I can't remember anything further after that. I woke up in blood soaked bed sheets and this guy lying next to me. I have no idea what happened, but he told his friend that we had consensual sex a few weeks later- this is certainly not the case. However, I could do nothing about it- if Pete found out he would kill me, he certainly would not support me and would say this was my fault, I suppose it was in a way for putting myself in a risky situation. My flat mates saw the blood and I told them I had been pregnant and had had a miscarriage. Maybe this was the case, I will never know, but I doubt it.

Soon after this, Pete was the victim of an attempted murder, being shot in the face by someone who he considered to be a friend. This resulted in us pulling closer together and his behaviour changed for a time- he needed me. If it wasn't for this happening, our relationship would not have struggled on for a further 15 months. However, it did and whilst we pulled together, we were still miles apart emotionally. The distance caused by me being away in Sheffield did help towards ending the relationship, but not as soon as I would have hoped. I threw my efforts into helping him cope with the psychological effects of this crime and put my own feelings on the back burner. This helped to confirm my future career choice as I was approaching the end of University and had decided to follow in my Dad's footsteps and join the Probation Service. I was accepted in the following July, just after leaving Uni and my job started in September. By this time, I had been living back with Pete since June and things were slipping back to how they had been previously- I was well aware that he hadn't changed. Despite this, we were practically living separate lives and by the time I started my job, he had a real issue with me working with the law. I think he was embarrassed in front of his friends as they all used drugs and got into fights etc. It helped in a way, as he started to feel that the relationship wasn't for him. By Christmas we both knew it was over and that was reflected in the lack of effort we made to spend time together and the present we bought. My birthday was in January and Pete had not got me a present at all- he just gave me £40 cash to get my hair cut and he fully agreed to me going out. I went out locally and met a guy, and kissed him in secret. He wasn't anything special, I just needed a distraction. We had a short affair over a 2 week period, which we got away with easily as Pete was not really interested by this stage and wasn't checking my phone anymore. We used to talk whilst I was at work and when Pete spent a weekend in Liverpool with a friend, we spent the night together- although we did not have any sexual contact at all during that two week affair, it was just nice to have some 'normal' male attention. That was the decision made, I had to leave Pete. I spent the week telling Pete how he was clearly unhappy with me and it was only fair that we split up so he can be happy- very manipulative of me, but I had learned from the best. Somehow, I got him to finish it with me and when I cried, they were genuine tears. I felt sad that the relationship that I had thought would be the one had not been successful. We hugged and slept in bed next to each other that night. The following day, he went out so I could pack my things. He came home halfway through with his mate and he had tears in his eyes- he knew this was his fault and he was frightened of being alone. I left that night and I knew I would never go back.

The Aftermath of this physical abuse story

A couple of weeks later, Pete called me and said that he was struggling with finding the rent. I had told him that I would continue to contribute that month as I didn't want to drop him in it. We had also agreed that he would keep everything in the flat- I felt that it was tainted anyway. We arranged for me to go to his flat and give him £100. When I arrived, he sat me down and said that he missed me and wanted me back. He said that we wouldn't have to live together, just start dating again and try and recapture the initial feelings we had. I felt that I had no choice, I had to tell him that I had started seeing this other guy- he would find out soon anyway in that small town. He hit the roof, I told him that nothing had happened until we had split, although this wasn't strictly true as we had kissed. I couldn't tell him the truth as I was frightened of what he would do. However, he then lunged at me, grabbed me by the arm and dragged me to the floor, so that he was standing above me. As I cowered and started to cry, he stopped, obviously realising that he no longer had the right to do this (obviously he never had the right anyway, but you know what I mean). He walked through to our kitchen and I got up and followed. He saw that he had ripped my coat and I said he should pay for it- he gave me £20 after I told him it had cost £40- I suppose it showed some remorse. He then said that he felt that I should know the truth and said that he had slept with 7 other women during our relationship- this was clearly revenge. He watched my reaction, which was genuine tears- it was the final insult after everything I had been through and I knew that it was true, despite his reasons for telling me now. He said that he knew I had cheated too and when I looked at him and told him I hadn't (I had never slept with anyone behind his back, I even rejected the new man until we had split up out of respect), I saw his face and this symbolised how he had ruined our entire relationship. He fully expected me to say that I had cheated so as this could justify his jealousy and possessiveness throughout our relationship- he knew in that moment what he had done.

Moving on from physical abuse

I escaped my partner by forming a new relationship, which made me feel strong enough to leave. I was determined to make this relationship work, regardless of any problems. I almost married that rebound partner, before coming to my senses. Not before he conned me out of a lot of money and into a lot of debt, but I see that as a learning curve. I don't blame myself for being blind to seeing what was happening- I was not in my right mind, but was in recovery following my relationship with Pete. In time, people talked to me about my relationship with Pete. One of the significant things I found out was from a girl who had dated him when they were both 13 and at school. She told me how he had always called her fat and told her that no-one else would want her. It helped to realise that I was not the first, but I wasn't strong enough to ensure that I wasn't the last by telling the Police. Another significant chat I had was with an old friend. She referred to an evening when we had been out together locally and she had argued with her boyfriend. On her way home, she had seen my light on and thought I was home. She pressed the intercom and Pete had answered and invited her inside to wait. She was drunk and hysterical after her argument and tells me that she passed out asleep. She awoke when I came in through the front door, accompanied by a few of my friends. When we entered the front room, she was hysterical and shouting at Pete although she wasn't making any sense. Pete then got angry and told us all to leave. My friend had remained hysterical and we had taken her home, still not making any sense. She had not spoken about the incident since and we thought that she was just upset about her boyfriend. It turns out that she had woken to find her trousers undone and Pete had clearly sexually assaulted her whilst she had passed out. What surprised me the most is that I had completely forgotten about this incident when she brought it up- I must've known deep down that something had happened and blocked it out. This makes me wonder what else I have blocked out, as I can't seem to move on from this relationship- I still feel like he has some sort of control.

When reading this back to myself, I look at some of the decisions I made and feel that some of the blame lies with me. I feel bad, like I am trying to justify my actions and lump the blame onto Pete - I think about the troubled upbringing that he had and make excuses for his behaviour. I know that his mother had abused alcohol a lot through his life and he had very little respect for her. I wonder what he thinks about what happened, knowing full well that he denies any of the above, and start to wonder if I imagined it. I also try and think about how my behaviour could have provoked his actions, particularly when I was violent in retaliation. This is a result of domestic abuse, and despite me being fully aware of that, the feelings will not subside. Part of me idolises my abuser and this has led to me struggling in my further relationships. It is time for a change for me, to ensure that Pete becomes firmly in my past and his actions do not daunt my future.

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Ingrid's Story
Isabelle's Story
Jay's Story
Jeanne's Story
Joanne's Story
Julie's Story
Kiara's Story
Kirsty's Story
Lacy's Story
Lash's Story
Lisa's Story
Lorna's Story
Louise's Story
Mandy's Story
Margaret's Story
Mark's Story
May's Story
MP's Story
Nadya's Story
Nola's Story
Orla's Story
Portia's Story
Rachel's Story
Renee's Story
Rhia's Story
Sadie's Story
Sarah's Story
Selena's Story
Shelley's Story
Tanya's Story
Tiffany's Story
Thomas' Story
Valerie's Story
Varda's Story
Vella's Story
Zena's Story

Related Pages:

Domestic Violence Poetry
Submit your own Story
Physical Abuse
Emotional Abuse

Recommended Reading:

Hear the voices of other women who have lived through and escaped from domestic abuse. This collection of personal survival stories help us understand the struggles, the pain and ultimately, the courage of victims who are determined to be survivors.

To order in the US: Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free
To order in the UK: Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free
Hear the voices of other women who have lived through and escaped from domestic abuse. This collection of personal survival stories help us understand the struggles, the pain and ultimately, the courage of victims who are determined to be survivors.

To order in the US: Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free

To order in the UK: Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free

Life after getting out of an abusive relationship often continues to be a struggle, and It's My Life Now offers guidance to overcoming common pitfalls, blending worksheets with insights on self exploration and ongoing growth. From handling feels of loss and guilt to overcoming feelings associated with having loved an abuser, this book continues to offer invaluable lessons and be a real source of help and strength:

To order in the US: It's My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence, 2nd Edition

To order in the UK: It's My Life Now

Many people suffer verbal and emotional abuse in secret for years, not really understanding what is happening or why they feel so rotten. Nor do they realize how easily such seemingly mild forms of abuse can be the precursor to physical violence. This book by Patricia Evans helps the victim understand how to recognize abuse, validates the victim's perception of what is happening and offers solid suggestions as to what to do to control abuse and to protect oneself :

To order in the US: The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond

To order in the UK: The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Expanded Third Edition

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UK National Domestic Violence Freephone number 0808 2000 247


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