'My GP wouldn't believe my violent partner beat me up as he was so highly thought of in our village'

The woman has spoken of her terrifying ordeal after the shocking state of domestic abuse in rural areas across the UK revealed victims are left isolated, unsupported, and failed by the system, services and those around them.
The woman has spoken of her terrifying ordeal after the shocking state of domestic abuse in rural areas across the UK revealed victims are left isolated, unsupported, and failed by the system, services and those around them.
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A Yorkshire woman has told of how she could not even tell her own doctor her partner was beating her because he was so highly thought of in the village where they lived.

The woman has spoken of her terrifying ordeal after the shocking state of domestic abuse in rural areas across the UK revealed victims are left isolated, unsupported, and failed by the system, services and those around them.

An 18 month study by the National Rural Crime Network revealed that not only does domestic abuse last 25 per cent longer in most rural areas, but that close-knit rural communities facilitate abuse, albeit not intentionally.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisals started dating her new partner, who worked in the medical profession, after leaving a previously abusive marriage.

She said: "The first year of dating he was charming, but after I moved in with him and worked alongside him in his business he came very controlling and isolating.

"I soon had no access to my phone, cars, friends and family, but I was expected to keep the house tidy, work on his business and accompany him to clients."

The woman was not allowed to be left on her own and her partner started to monitor her computer use.

The control got so bad that he persuaded her not take her prescription medicine for an illness she had and instead medicated her himself, as well as withholding letters from the hospital.

"This was a further level of control and I started to believe that everything was my fault and I became more isolated from my family," she said.

"I then started to fear him, but I had to behave myself to avoid his behaviour and to protect me and my children."

After time, the abuse became more physical and he would attack her.

"I had bruises on my arms, but no one would believe me if I told them what he did as he was such a professional in the community," she said.

"I was emotionally isolated and didn't know anyone in the community.

"He was so highly regarded so no one knew or suspected I was a victim of abuse.

"I did go to the doctor but I didn't mention the bruises on my arms, despite having my blood pressure taken.

"My GP wouldn't have believed me anyway as my partner was well known, he was highly professional and had so much influence with people who mattered in those circles."

It took strength, determination and courage, but the woman eventually told a close friend who helped her to escape her partner's clutches.

She said: "After I moved out, even the butcher would not serve me because he had heard about the allegations - even though it was never reported.

"Word got around because these people all knew each other.

"I think he even intimidated the police because he had best access to the best legal team when I tried to bring allegations against him."

The woman has since moved away from the village and started a new life with her children.

She shared her story to highlight how domestic abuse affects people living in rural communities.