Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Marital Rape, more positive: it’s good to leave.

This is just brief but my last post was very intense and I'd written it to help other women, but then it got bogged down in my own suffering.

I wanted to give the positives of leaving. First though, tell your GP what is happening to you. if you get any injuries, tell your GP. These might be essential later on if you ever want to press charges, or if anyone wants evidence. I found that seeing the council's homelessness officer was finally the help I needed. Did you know that if you are a victim of domestic violence, that your local council will class you and your children as homeless and in urgent need of housing? I was placed at the top of the list. I got a temporary flat in 6 weeks and a council house 3 months later. Marital rape is not acceptable in our society.

I felt very guilty about fleeing and I think that is normal. I thought, from reading tabloids, that I'd be damaging my children and it took a month after leaving for me to pluck up the courage to let my parents know what I had done. No-one was judging me like I was judging myself.

The tabloids were wrong. My children, who were suffering badly from stress, not talking properly, struggling at school, thrived when we fled. One is now at university and it transformed their lives so much getting away. They began to relax, they started developing some confidence at last, they started talking, they started making friends. Don't listen to tabloids! They were confused though because of course they could not know we had fled due to rapes. They didn't know why it had happened and I couldn't explain why. I pretended it was just a normal break-up but they could sense it had all been a bit too dramatic, with the rescue, for that to be true.

My first night in my temporary flat: incredible. I lay there in wonder knowing I'd never be raped by him again. I'll never forget that first night in my temporary flat. That feeling... I can't put words to it. My body was safe now.

Now: I have suffered psychologically but guess what? After 5 years I got myself into college and then into uni. I got a professional degree in my dream subject and I'm now doing a Masters (though have been having time out to deal with stuff). I've done outreach, worked with the homeless and plan to teach 'difficult to place' pupils eventually. I want to do a doctorate at the same time. I have 2 beautiful cats, one a rag doll who thinks he's a human baby, my home, I grow my own veggies.

I found out I have a brain! I never would have believed that when I was with him.

I found out I can sing and have sung folk in pubs and gigs in my city (but that was too scary and I quit!)

Life is hard yes, I guess that is inevitable, and yes, I do suffer, very much sometimes.

But my suffering with my ex was beyond description. I had no hope, no future, nothing. I was stripped of being a human being, with a human life.

Escape is the answer, even though you have no belief in your capabilities. You'll be surprised.

He got his hands on me when I was 18 and I escape when I was 33. I was still trapped as an 18 year old when I fled because I hadn't been able to grow as a person. I am finally becoming a woman, a person.

Please fight back by getting away. Don't let this person stunt and destroy your whole precious life, and stamp down all your potential. x


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