‘My ex used the silent treatment’
SALLY only understood how badly she had been manipulated when it came to completing a witness statement for the police.
Her ex ramped up the abuse over the course of their three years together.
The mum-of-two, 37, said: “I didn’t actually realise what was going on until near to the end.
“The manipulation was so clever, it just seemed to fit in with the way things went.
“It was only when I was writing my full statement for the police when I fled, that I was reading it and realised I’d been manipulated from the very beginning.
“It was a step-by-step process.” Sally met her ex in 2013 and the abuse began soon after. He used silent treatment – sometimes for days – and would hide her belongings and then say she had forgotten where they were.
He even claimed her decision to breast-feed meant she stopped him bonding with their child.
The final straw came when he shouted at Sally in front of her other child. She said: “I wanted to go back a few times. I thought no-one would believe me – what if it was all in my head?
“But every time I thought that I called the Womens Aid in partnership with Refuge 24hrs helpline and they reminded me what I’d said previously. That’s all I needed.”
Last month, Sally’s ex took her through the family courts to access their child. She said: “It was just more manipulation.
“I’d say to any woman, ‘You are valued, keep your head high. Make a decision to ask for help’.”
Sally is running the London Marathon for Refuge. See justgiving.com/campaign/ refugelondonmarathon2019.