I suffered a year-long abusive relationship in which I was emotionally manipulated and physically assaulted multiple times by my former partner, a fellow Cambridge PhD student. This ended when he was arrested and charged for an incident in February 2017. Following the subsequent trial in September 2017, my photographs were featured in national newspapers alongside headlines declaring that I had been on a vendetta and made up the whole thing.
Having declined to comment at the time, I have now decided to share my story, in the hope that it might help others to understand domestic abuse better and to recognise the signs, which can be very subtle at first, both in their own relationships and those of others. My experience has made me painfully aware of how little domestic abuse is understood by many people. As one in four women are estimated to suffer at least one abusive relationship in their lives I believe raising awareness of this topic to be incredibly important.
In this blog I have covered the relationship up to the incident which led to the trial. It is not a one-sided rant at my abuser; it is an account of what happened, including my own behaviour, even when I was not proud of my actions. I kept a journal towards the end of the relationship, trying to understand what was happening, and over the last summer have spent a lot of time writing everything down in order to try to come to terms with it. Therefore, although I have surely not remembered everything, my memory is fairly clear and I have been able to reproduce many of the events in detail. I have also included a voice recording (Post 7) which is quite demonstrative of what emotional abuse can sound like.
Writing this blog has been a struggle and has set me back in terms of my mental health, as I have been suffering with PTSD, but I am hoping I can now begin to recover properly. Releasing this is quite terrifying, but I believe it is the right thing to do. I hope it can make a difference.
(Published November 2017)