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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

Sarah's Story

Sarah's Story from Staffs Police on Vimeo.

He knocked me out twice. He cut all the phone lines. He made me wear his clothes. I woke to find his hands around my throat. This was my life. I thought it was normal. It isn't.

I met my husband when I was 19 and the first ten years were ok. I had my first child when I was 26. He said I didn't need to go to work anymore. He smashed all of my make-up. My second child was born two years later.

The problems really began after I'd had my third child. He began to get more aggressive, isolating me more and more. My doctor advised me against having any more children as each pregnancy had made me more ill. Being pregnant and having children was just another way to isolate and control me. By the time I was 37, I had five children under 11.

It was like walking on eggshells. He wouldn't let me go anywhere apart from walking the children to school and back, but if I was more than five minutes late he would accuse me of sleeping with other men. He did not help with the children and if I wanted to nip to the shop for a loaf of bread I would have to take all five children with me. Another way to control me.

No-one knew what was going on. I was frightened of telling anyone because of the repercussions.

He constantly threatened that social services would take the children away. He smashed everything of sentimental value to me. I was allowed to have a Facebook account but I couldn't be friends with any men and he would check it constantly.

The last two years were the worst. He was increasingly violent. I woke up one day to him spitting in my face. I slept with my children for my own safety and I felt trapped upstairs. He threatened to kill me, to have me run over and to kill my parents.

One day, he shouted at me for being five minutes late back. That was the final straw. I left with my children. I lost everything else. He would not let me have my birth certificate and I had no form of identification.

He got three months' imprisonment and a full non-contact order. I got to rebuild my life.