Many times I have been travelling, alone in the dark and have felt that thumping fear in my chest. That unwavering panic – I am vulnerable, I am unprotected, I am defenceless.
But then I reach my destination and that bitterly intense fear is replaced by the glow of safety and familiarity. The crushing dread fades in to the distance.
Imagine having to live a life whereby that feeling of the familiar is actually your point of panic, your cause of fear. The security and the sanctuary of your home or the company of your loved ones is the very reason for your distress, anguish and the feeling of despair.
What if the very place you look to escape to, for peace, security and harmony is where your nightmare begins?
Sadly this is the case for an estimated 1.2 million women across the UK. A shocking average of two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales with the police receiving over 100 calls, on average, every hour with relation to domestic abuse.
The facts are shocking- the quantity and frequency disturbing and upsetting. But upon reflection any ONE single event of domestic violence is far too many.
The most sobering thought is that these statistics only reflect the cases that we know about. Let’s not forget that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate – it affects women, children, men, old, disabled, strong, healthy, rich, poor…and frequently these events go unheard of, unresolved and unspoken.
How can this happen?
Domestic violence is often borne of a battle between self-worth and control. The perpetrator needing to own the control- whether it be financial, domestic or physical. The sufferer being worn down to a point of questioning their own being, their own self-worth; often feeling as though they deserve this treatment, that this is their lot in life.
Finding that courage to learn that love shouldn’t hurt and that your own worth far exceeds any form of abuse isn’t easy. However it is possible and there are support networks available to help remove you from any situation of abuse and set you back on the road to YOU. Consider the courage you have already shown from the situations you have been through – that courage is already there within you – you just need to let it free.
You are not, nor have you ever been ‘less than’. Someone else’s treatment of you does not define you – it defines them and any relationship that seeks to mask or drain you of your identity, purpose, strength and character is one that should be reconsidered.
“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story – I will!”
It is time to raise awareness of this disease – this cancerous epidemic that festers behind closed doors. The unspoken truth that lurks within far too many of our communities, streets and homes.
We are responsible for turning victims into survivors and abusers in to the police. Whether you have been, or are being, directly affected by domestic violence, it is up to all of us to raise awareness, and make a stand against it.
Written By Ultamodan Contributing Editor: Jayne
 Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2018) Domestic abuse: findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales: year ending March 2017. Published online: ONS.
 Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2018) Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2017. Published online: ONS
 HMIC, Increasingly everyone’s business: A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse (Published online: HMIC, 2015), p. 28