I was 20 when I met my future husband, he was 39 and charming beyond belief. He promised me the earth, moon and stars, instead I got eight years of physical, mental and sexual violence.
The first time he hit me I was pregnant with the first of three children, being scared and afraid to go back home, I stayed.
Four years later, still scared and frightened and by now suffering sexual abuse, I married him. But it didn’t change anything, the sexual abuse stopped while I was pregnant but the mental and physical abuse didn’t.
After the birth of my third child I found a letter that was to change my life forever.
In the letter he spoke about taking the children away then coming back to face the consequences of what he had done to me, I feared for my life, it was the push I needed to get out.
I spoke to the police who put me in touch with the charity Refuge, they found me and the children somewhere to stay.
Too close to home he found me, I had to leave London.
For a while we thought we were safe but once again he found us and he attacked me again. I had to see a solicitor and get rid of him once and for all. By this time I had met someone else and was pregnant.
My ex-husband had got his current girlfriend involved this time and she started to verbally abuse me at every given chance. Once again fearing for my life and that of my unborn baby, I came back to London.
My divorce became final and I was free at last, he no longer had any hold on me, the relationship ended after 7 years.
I have been with my current partner 4 years now and he loves me with all his heart and soul and I feel the same way about him. You would think that this is where my story ends, full of happy endings: not quite.
I told my current partner about my ex-husband and all the abuse that I had suffered and he and his song writing partner put it into a song, made a video and it is on you tube and iTunes. It’s for the charity Refuge, if they hadn’t helped me I wouldn’t be here today.
By helping them we are paying them back for helping me by raising funds and awareness. I will always be grateful to this charity and feel that not enough is known about what they can do for women and children who suffer abuse.
My ex-husband was sent to prison last year for an appalling crime, did I get out in time? You bet your life I did.
Now my story has a happy ending. My children I were lucky, we got out and survived this man’s abuse.
[Name changed to protect identity]