Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Medical care, domestic violence & the impact of being a migrant

I left my partner a few months ago, after a lot of abuse that I think will cause me long term damage.

When I found out I was pregnant, the father wanted me to have an abortion - he hated me because I wouldn’t.

When I told him I was in labour with our baby, he was busy watching TV and drinking beer. I had to contact the hospital myself & they didn’t take me seriously. When I was eventually admitted to hospital, and me and my baby almost died. After giving birth, I could walk or sit down properly - I couldn’t even wear trousers. The hospital didn’t want to help me, they said the pain was all in my head. After 2 years, I am still waiting for the GMC to give me an explanation and I think one of the reasons is because I am a migrant and I don’t speak English very well.

I had to have two operations to help me get better, proving that it wasn’t all ‘in my head’.

My labour was so painful. Pain like I have never experienced in my life, and I was still in so much pain afterwards. Still, my ex demanded that I had sex with him. He was cruel, he said he was too attractive to wait for me to be better, he has a queue of women waiting to have sex with him. He humiliated me every day and didn’t care about my pain.

I was trying so hard to make it work with him, so our son would grow up in a happy family. When the doctors gave me some medication to help relieve my pain, my ex went ballistic with me. He would come round to my flat, demanding that I have sex with him. He would have his penis out, saying I had to give him oral sex or masturbate him. He would pin me to the bed, force me to masturbate him (even though I would be crying) and he shouted at me, called me awful names like ‘crazy’ ‘psycho’ ‘arsehole’ ‘loony’ or ‘nutter’. He shouted so loud that all the neighbours could hear, and he hurt me terribly.

This lasted for almost two years. I have never been humiliated like this in my whole life. Even though I was in terrible physical pain, he didn’t care. He knew, but he wasn’t bothered. He knew he was sexually abusing me. He understood that I was in physical pain but he didn’t care - all he cared about was his sexual needs.

If I tried to say no, he would explode with rage. He would call me names and humiliate me.

My ex knew I had been sexually abused as a child, and when I told my mother, she didn’t believe that it was abuse.  She said it was my fault, that I had provoked it. My ex said that people who have been abused as children turn into abusers. It was like he hated me.

After my first operation, the doctor told him that I was ok for sex now. He went with me to the appointment just to check whether I was ok for sex. I was still in pain - no-one was listening to me.

I stayed over with my ex one night, and I woke up the next morning bleeding heavily. I sleep quite heavily and the medication I was taking for my pain made me more sleepy. I’m scared to face the truth of what caused that bleeding when I was asleep. I asked the doctor if it was possible that he’d raped me, and the doctor said it would be impossible. He said that if my partner was raping me I would definitely wake up.

I don’t know what to believe. After everything he did, I am worried about what he was capable of.

He told my neighbours that I had gone back to my home country and left my baby with him. He said I wasn’t a good mother. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t play or run with my son, or do things that we take for granted. But to lie about me being a bad mother was just another one of his tactics.

I would cry when I saw other mums - I was in so much pain. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to bring my baby up properly because I was in so much agony. I cried because I thought I would never be able to have another baby, because my body was so damaged.

After I had my second operation, it still hurt to have sex.  Not as much, but alongside the physical pain, I had psychological damage from both the hospital treatment I had, and the abuse from my partner.

I feel like such a failure. The hospital say I should be able to have sex, but it hurts so much. Someone gave me the idea to try a vibrator but that really hurt too.

Even though I have left my ex, I still have problems with him. I have to see him on handovers when he sees our little boy. My little boy behaves aggressively towards me, as this is what he sees his dad doing.

When I went to have the second surgery, the hospital team were much more understanding. And I have had support from an organisation who help women who have suffered abuse.

The hospital team who looked after me after my labour and first operation didn’t offer me any support. It seems that I had been listened to when I was in early labour, this might not have happened. The hospital now don’t think I’ll be able to have intercourse again, because of the damage and scar tissue that has built up. No-one told me the reality, early on in my case.  It is only because I have complained to the GMC that I have been given any information. I cannot take legal action against the hospital, as I don’t have any money.

I was working part time in between my operations, and had to tell my manager what was wrong with me. She made a joke about it in front of people, saying I couldn’t have sex.

There are some cruel and dangerous people in this world and we need help to keep ourselves safe from them.

The saddest part for me, was that I loved him.


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