Domestic violence is of course not only specific to women, but a shocking 89% of females are affected by it.
Astonishing statistics show that two women a week are killed as a result of domestic violence in England and Wales, which is utterly appalling.
One woman who has unfortunate experience of being in an abusive relationship is former University of Chester student Jennifer Gilmour whose ordeal led her to write her first novel about the subject.
‘Isolation Junction’ details the journey of a young woman in the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage who manages to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.
Entirely funded through a Kickstarter campaign, Jennifer hopes the book will raise awareness that is often hidden and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives, as she did after her experience.
“I used to wonder if I would ever have a life,” she wrote of her experience in the Huffington Post. “In fact I wondered this every day for the five long, lonely years that I lived in a domestic abusive relationship. In the end I didn’t care because I was so numb.
“If you’re wondering why someone didn’t intervene, let me tell you that there are were no scars; there were no bruises, in fact there was no obvious physical evidence that anything was wrong. The scars and bruising were real though... in my mind. I wasn’t hit or kicked, in fact sometimes I wish I had been as that would have brought some sort of end to the crazy mindset the man I thought loved me persuaded me to believe about myself.”
After staying in the abusive relationship, which produced two children, for such a long period of time, Jennifer felt isolated and unsure. But after meeting someone who gave her the courage to realise the realities of her situation, she eventually found the courage to move herself and her children across the country which she says was ‘very challenging both emotionally and practically’.
Thankfully Jennifer is now much happier and now wants to help others who may be in similar situations, describing her as a ‘passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships’.
“The scars of domestic abuse are often hidden from view but as my confidence and happiness have soared, I have realised that there is help out there and there is a way back to freedom,” she said. “I am well aware that changes to national policies and working practices are needed so that situations in which women and men present in emotionally abusive situations are recognised and dealt with appropriately and with compassion.
“I believe that particular training needs to be focused on recognising the perpertrators of this kind of behaviour, as often thety are very persuasive people who are able to manipulate the services themselves.”
“In my book I have amalgamated and fictionalised other survivors experiences alongside my own.
“I hope that in reading my book, I will raise awareness of this often hidden and unseen behaviour and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives,” she added.
Jennifer is a finalist for the Inspirational Mum 2017 Award with BizMums. For more information on her or about Isolation Junction, visit www.jennifergilmour.com