I have a dear friend who sadly was subjected to a number of years abuse by a man. She was not the first either.
This was a man that she once loved. A man who should have loved, cherish, respected and protected her. He did none of those things. Instead he abused her both emotionally and physically. He took away her self esteem and made her think it was all her fault.
Over time she was supported by a feisty bunch of women to find the courage to leave him to start a new life.
It was not easy for her to escape or to go where he could not find her and their children because he was so determined not to let her go to the extent he stalked her and made threats.
She took the brave step of informing the police and seeking support from local services. The police found other women who he has abused previously and built a case against him.
At times she was in despair that she would ever break free from him or her past. She doubted herself so many times as to whether she had made the right decision for her little family as life wasn’t easy moving from shelter to shelter.
He tried to intimidate her into withdrawing her statement but she stayed strong. The case went to court.
My friend has faced abuse from others during this time who attempted to play down what he has done or blamed her.
Her feisty group of women never lost faith and encouraged her to keep going, even when all seemed lost.
Today that man has been sentenced for what he did to my friend and all those other women. Justice was served today as he has been sent to prison for a very long time. Today marks a new chapter in my friend’s life, one where she can live her life in freedom, not having to look over her shoulder in fear or worry that he will hunt her down to abuse her once again. She will be able to bring her children up safe from harm.
My friend I am so incredibly proud of you for finding that courage to rise up and seek a better life for your children and yourself away from him. It’s not been easy and there are bound to be days ahead where you still struggle, but know this you are a warrior and you will rise every time.