‘My ex used the silent treat­ment’

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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