Cumbria Police have spoken with a person who found the courage to report the abuse she was suffering and the support she received after her speaking out. Jenny’s story is now used as an example to other victims of domestic abuse of the level of service available and how the support can help a victim move on with their lives.
Jenny suffered years of abuse from Karl, which started when she was pregnant with their first child. Step by step Karl isolated her from her friends and her family, he would subject her to regular mental, physical and sexual abuse. Whilst Karl was a heavy drinker his actions continued when he was sober. Sadly Jenny suffered such a horrific level of abuse that she felt that she was in the wrong and that there was simply nowhere to go. The incident that saw Jenny contact police was when Karl hit her while she was holding their youngest child, a baby of six months. He was strangling her and she thought she was going to lose consciousness and drop the baby. From there Karl was arrested and with the support of Barnardo’s and other domestic violence advocacy groups she was able to step-by-step gain back control of her life.
“The support of police and Barnardo’s helped. Being able to attend the Recovery Toolkit in this area was also amazing and that was really the turning point in my life. My support worker from Barnardo’s was particularly important. She was warm and supportive with everything including helping me understand what the children had been through and the impact on them. I started to believe I had a future.
“Going to group sessions of the Recovery Toolkit meant I got professional help and met other women who’d gone through similar situations. I was a bit dismissive of it before attending, as I thought I’d be sitting in a room full of miserable, broken people. What I found was that the shared experience meant that the shame and guilt was lifted. The women laughed together and it was the best therapy I could have had. It meant I could start seeing a future for myself and the children, where there had not been one before.”
Please note that Jenny's name is fake in order to protect the victims anonymity.
For more information on the support a victim of domestic abuse can receive Click Here