CASE STUDY: ‘WE CLIMBED OUT OF THE BATHROOM WINDOW AND RAN AWAY’
PAUL asked Jane to marry him four months after they met, but what started out as a whirlwind romance suddenly changed when he became controlling and violent.
Jane explains: “Paul was handsome, he treated me like I was a princess and promised me he would never hurt me like I was hurt before. He promised he would make me happy — and I was.
“But then Paul hated me speaking to my friends or going out with anyone, even my sister, Nina. He redirected the house calls to his mobile and told anyone who called I was busy. I lost contact with everyone.
“Adam was born in August 1995 and was a beautiful baby. Paul seemed so proud of me for having a boy. I couldn’t wait to get home from the hospital and be a little family.
“The day I came home Paul was affectionate, I felt so relieved. I thought it was all going to be alright.
“But it all changed when we put Adam to sleep. His first night’s sleep at home was filled with my screams and as the years went by, things got worse and worse.”
It was Adam who contacted Jewish Women’s Aid after the charity visited his school. He says: “I never really had many friends. Dad didn’t like me going to other people’s houses or other people coming to ours.
“I’d never thought what was going on at home could be domestic violence; it was just what was going on in the house.
“I didn’t like it. I was worried about Mum but I sort of thought it was what was going on in most houses.
“I waited and waited until it finally happened one Friday night. Mum had made a nice Shabbos dinner but Dad said the food was awful.
“He was angry and he slapped her hard across the face and she fell to the floor. He reached to get a knife and I screamed to Mum to get up.
“We ran into the bathroom and locked the door. He was banging on the door threatening to kill her and I said, ‘we have to go now’.
“We climbed out the bathroom window and ran to auntie Nina’s house. I called JWA and they came to get us that night.”
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved