When Jodi first met her ex-partner during a night out, he seemed like the perfect guy. One year later, she found herself facing him in court after he beat her and left her unconscious.
The early days of the relationship were a happy blur. He was extremely charming and Jodi quickly fell in love. He showered her with gifts, treated her daughter well and within five weeks, the couple had moved in together.
But once the novelty and excitement of the whirlwind romance wore off, he began to show his true colours. He started to take her phone away and lock her in the house when he went out. When Jodi arranged to go on a weekend away with a group of girlfriends, he removed an outfit he disliked from her bag and spat on it.
‘I felt over watched, scared and shocked to see how much he’d changed. He became very controlling about the clothes I wore.’
He told her he wanted a baby. He booked a doctor’s appointment for Jodi and even took her there himself to ensure her contraception implant was removed.
When their little girl was born, her partner suddenly lost interest in her. He would find ways to keep Jodi and her daughter apart, even locking Jodi in the house when he took the baby out.
‘There was never any doubt that he had full control over who saw her and who didn't. At a time when I should have been celebrating the birth of my baby girl, I felt unwanted, useless and helpless.’
After 12 months together, Jodi decided enough was enough and told her partner the relationship was over. Her hit her, leaving her with a black eye. She kicked him out of the house but he returned at midnight, telling her, ‘You’ve got five seconds to say goodbye to your daughter.’
He beat her and left her unconscious. When Jodi decided to press charges against him, she was introduced to Southside Family Project. Using money raised through Red Nose Day, Southside supports people who have experienced domestic abuse and helps them to get out of abusive situations.
‘They have supported me massively, helping me to rebuild myself into the person I am today. They have also supported my eldest daughter.’
When her ex appeared in court, he was given a suspended sentence for the assault, but the nightmare wasn’t over.
Less than 72 hours later, he climbed through her bedroom window whilst she slept. He tried to win her back, telling her, ‘I love you. I want to be with you.’
‘I was shaking when I realised he had broken into the room. I pushed my panic button and the police arrived within 5 minutes, even though it felt like a life time.’
Jodi’s ex-partner was eventually sentenced to 15 months in prison and she says staff at Southside were there ‘every step of the way’.
Although she will never forget what she went through, Jodi is now focused on building a positive future for herself and her daughters. She is now in a new relationship and expecting a baby.
‘I will never forget what happened but I won't be defeated. I would like to support others in this situation, to let them know that there is help out there for everyone, male or female, old or young. There are refuges to go to, just like the one where Southside helped place us.’
To get help, you can call the 24 hour freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Visit www.rednoseday.com/domesticviolence for more information
tagged in Domestic Violence