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Tuesday 18 June 2013

Leaving a violent marriage: real-life story

In light of the shocking photos which have emerged of Nigella Lawson being apparently choked by her husband, a real-life reader of Josie's Juice has come forward to tell her shocking story.

It is confronting, raw, and quite upsetting. Readers are advised it could trigger memories from past - or current - events in their own lives. You can reach out for help here, via White Ribbon. I came across this oath which emanates from this incredible organisation:

Here is her story. She is known to Josie's Juice, but has decided to remain anonymous.

"We were married for just shy of eight years, and we had two kids together. At the time I left him, they were aged five and three.
Looking back and with the benefit of time, the abuse started reasonably early in my first pregnancy - I was being told I was useless as a wife... and frigid and lazy. With my training (background in psychology) I now know it started much earlier than that, with threats of suicide if I ever left him - he was very controlling.
It escalated I went back to work after my second child, with stalking phone calls... from 10-15 a day throughout my work day, checking that I was where I said I was. These then became the norm whenever I wasn't with him - no matter what the occasion.
The lead up to the physical abuse was fairly classic - pushing and grabbing, never when others were around. If bruises did eventuate, they occurred in places hidden by clothing. It escalated to rough sex, often leaving bruises, often hidden.
The final straw was two-fold.
Firstly, two nights before I left, whilst in a rage, he struck out at me with a closed fist. Thankfully, I dodged - and he clipped me as he hit the freezer, leaving a sizeable dent in the door. I fled and locked myself in the bedroom until he passed out.
(I still have that freezer with its dent as a reminder of how fortunate I was to be able to leave).
Secondly, the night before I left - once again, he was in another rage - he had me barrelled up against a door yelling in my face that he dreams of pummelling me until I'm a bloody mess... After which he told me that if he didn't kill me doing that, he was going to take "his" kids into the bush and I'd never see them again.
The following evening after I returned from work, the kids and I collected some clothes and fled to my parents. Thank heavens we had that safe haven - thousands don't. Other than to collect our belongings, we never returned.
Eight and a half years have passed. For many years, I avoided standing too close to men who were much taller than myself as I feared that proximity. It wasn't until earlier this year I felt safe enough to go on a date, let alone trust another man.
It has taken years of intensive counselling to even trust my own judgement regarding men other than my immediate and extended family. 
Thank God I have. I would hate to have my ex damage any chance I had at enjoying life and love again. For a long time, I felt like an injured bird - but they were his issues and in taking back my own power and love of life, I'm stronger than I ever thought I could be.
To tell a woman in an abusive relationship to leave or walk away is easy; understanding how it can happen and how completely powerless that women feels is much harder - especially when it's not something you've ever been exposed to. It happens so slowly you don't notice it, until one day you can't see out of that dark dark tunnel you reside in.
Keep in mind though it's not just women, who suffer domestic violence - men, too, can be victims and are often the silent sufferers.
I'm in a great place now - I have two gorgeous children, a man I not only love, but more importantly trust, and life is pretty bloody good."

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