Domestic violence survivor feared for her life
Diane George says the abuse in her five-year relationship began slowly.
During their relationship, he squeezed her leg, hit her with the television remote and whipped her with a wet towel. She thought he was just in a bad mood, she said.
But then he twisted her arm so badly she thought it was going to snap.
He called her names and often lost his temper, which sent him into a screaming fit that would last until she started to cry.
One day, he hit in the head so hard she fell backward. She suffered a brain injury as a result of the assault and suffers from constant migraines and post-traumatic stress disorder.
That assault saw him arrested and charged, but 10 months before his trial the charges were dismissed since the crown attorney could not prove the assault happened beyond a reasonable doubt. The restraining order that keep George’s partner away from her was removed, which left her living in constant fear that was even worse than before.
After the assault that left her severely injured, George saw a victim crisis counsellor with the police and attended domestic violence self help groups and post-traumatic stress disorder counselling.
The counselling helped George become strong enough to leave her abusive partner.
Women are often asked why they didn’t leave an abusive relationship or leave sooner, which unfairly places the blame on them.
For Diane, just like many other domestic violence survivors, it’s not easy to leave.
So much is on the line for women in abusive relationships. They may be financially dependent on their partner or worry what will happen to their children and even their pets.
Many women live in a constant state of fear after an abusive partner may threaten to kill a woman if she leaves. George’s partner used to tell her that she would never be able to leave.
George didn’t leave her abusive relationship immediately because she thought she could help him get control of his anger.
But the situation went from bad to worse, especially when she tried to leave. He isolated her from her family and friends and wouldn’t let her go to the gym. She was expected to come right home from work to make dinner.
“I just became his puppet,” George said. “I went from home to work and work to home.”
To help women in a similar situation, George started The Hurt Association to provide emergency services to women feeling domestic assault and supports local community services in this field.
“Don’t wait until it’s too late,” George said. “I knew if I came back, he would kill me next time.”