Domestic Abuse Bill: 'I saw my mum's murder when I was 14 and believe a register would have saved her'
The Domestic Abuse Bill, hailed as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to improve the country's response to domestic abuse, has been signed into law after a long battle by campaigners.
But some question whether the new legislation goes far enough to protect victims, as the government voted against a serial domestic abuse and stalking perpetrators register.
Survivor Georgia Gabriel-Hooper witnessed her stepfather kill her mother with a double-barreled shotgun after years of abuse. She is now calling for a register for domestic abusers. Here is her story, in her own words.
My mum met my stepdad two weeks after my seventh birthday on a blind date.
Naturally , he was charming and it turned out farmer Andrew was everything she could have wished for.
It did not take long for the coercion to begin. Miscarriages turned into him disappearing for long periods of time and blaming my mum for her inability to carry a child.
He would act inappropriately in front of friends and family, leading to them no longer wanting to spend time with us. But, by the time my mum came to marry him five years into their relationship; she was already in too deep.
Moving into his farmhouse added to the isolation and abuse, rarely going out - only for the school run, work and essential journeys.
In January of 2018 I witnessed my mother’s murder, two months after turning 14. The six weeks leading up to that day were filled with dread and exhaustion, his incessant stalking hunting us down day by day.
He even went as far as to fit a tracker to our car without our knowledge. He killed my mum after she had been on a night out with friends, shooting her twice with an antique shotgun upon arriving home. I was fortunate I got out of the car, otherwise I might also have been hurt.
I believe the serial perpetrator register, voted down by the government twice, would have saved my mum.
Andrew was a serial perpetrator with a previous violent conviction. He should never have been allowed to have free reign to pick his next victim.
You wouldn’t let a sex offender have free access to children, so why would you let an abuser have free reign over their chosen victims?
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