One night in July 2016, we went to a social event at College together, and he became very drunk. Once we were back in my room, an argument started. We both got into bed but he was shouting at me. Suddenly he got on top of me, straddled me and put both hands around my neck. He squeezed hard. I remember the look on his face – one of power, defiance. He was red with anger. I tried to scream but it came out hoarse. I remember hoping someone would hear but I think no one else was in the house. I was crying and pleading with him to get off. I remember trying to push his weight off me but I couldn’t move. Then he lifted his right arm and, with his fist, punched me hard in the left side of my head, just above my ear which also got caught by the punch. I went still and he moved off me. I ran to the wardrobe and put on a hoodie and some tracksuit bottoms. He kept coming towards me and I repeatedly told him to get away from me. I kept asking him to leave but he wouldn’t. I then started trying to leave but he blocked my way. I was crying and begged him to let me go. Eventually he stepped to one side and I ran out of the door and across the road to College.
One of the porters (security staff) let me in and I ran past him crying. While running through College I rang a friend of mine who lived close by. I told her he had hit me and asked her to come and meet me. I was frantic and still crying. She came and took me back to her room, through the back entrance of the College. My head was throbbing and spinning and I couldn’t stop crying. I remember my ear feeling very hot and sore as well. As I was telling her what had happened, my phone was going off non-stop with calls and messages from him. Then her phone started going, as did the doorbell. I don’t know how he knew I had gone there but I presume he had followed me. He was still drunk and started banging on the door and shouting. My friend became scared and rang another friend of ours who lived with his girlfriend just down the road. She told him what had happened and asked him for help. He came and took my partner to his house for the night.
I tried to sleep on the floor, but my head and ear hurt so much and I was wracked with guilt for telling anyone that he had hit me. Once the initial fear had worn off, I began to blame myself again for setting him off and thought I should have been more careful not to wind him up. In the morning, I told my friend, and the girlfriend of the man who had taken my partner home, that I wanted to see him, that it was my fault he hit me and I still wanted to be with him. They seemed wary and unsure but I insisted. Unfortunately they did not recognise the emotional manipulation at play here and did not report the event to anyone. When I saw him again, he apologised profusely and told me he was ashamed and would never drink again.