Killer wife tells of life with an abuser

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Liz Perkins

A WOMAN who beat her abu­sive hus­band to death with a hammer told do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sur­vivors she broke down in prison when she sud­denly re­alised that she was the vic­tim of co­er­cive con­trol.

Sally Challen, 63, said while on re­mand ac­cused of her hus­band Richard’s mur­der, she took part in a pi­o­neer­ing Freedom Pro­gramme course, which de­fines the dom­i­nat­ing part­ner in a range of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sce­nar­ios.

In a mes­sage to the Stand Up To Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence con­fer­ence in New­port, South Wales, on Fri­day, Sally said since leav­ing prison, she had told ev­ery­one she can about co­er­cive con­trol and was now de­ter­mined to speak out for other vic­tims.

Sally suf­fered years of abuse be­fore snap­ping and killing her hus­band, 61, in 2010. She was jailed for life in 2011, but freed in June when the mur­der con­vic­tion was quashed.

She had been due to at­tend the con­fer­ence, the first of its kind, with her son David, but could not be there be­cause her first grand­child was born that morn­ing. In a state­ment, she told

sur­vivors the prison course re­ferred to male fig­ures in­clud­ing the “bully who shouts” and “the king of the castle who con­trols your money and treats you like a slave”.

She said: “I broke down at the re­al­i­sa­tion that this is what I lived.”

Sally told how she was forced into an abortion by Richard as a teenager, was raped and con­trolled by him dur­ing their long mar­riage and en­dured his many af­fairs and brothel vis­its. She said she was now spread­ing the mes­sage about co­er­cive con­trol.

“I am now free and I am able to live a true life,” she said.

“I am so grate­ful to [fem­i­nist or­gan­i­sa­tion] Jus­tice for Women and my sons David and James. It’s re­leased me from prison af­ter nine years.”

Hol­ly­wood star Michael Sheen, 50, told the do­mes­tic vi­o­lence con­fer­ence men “must start to take re­spon­si­bil­ity” for their do­mes­tic abuse.

Sally with sons David, right, and James on first day of her re­lease in June

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.