Shropshire abuse survivor whose rapist ex starved her during pregnancy backs consent campaign
ITV News Central Phil Brewster's report contains graphic descriptions of violence people may find distressing
A domestic violence survivor from Shropshire is speaking out for women and girls who feel they haven't got a voice.
Natasha Saunders has waived her right to anonymity and joined forces with charity Refuge to talk about the sexual, mental and physical abuse she endured for eight years at the hands of her ex-husband.
Ms Saunders told ITV News Central: "I wasn't allowed to leave the house, I wasn't allowed to learn to drive, I didn't have a job, I changed my phone number and it got completely out of control.
"Then I fell pregnant with our daughter, during that he routinely starved me and withheld liquids.
Ms Saunders continued: "When my daughter was about two-and-a-half, I fell pregnant on birth control, again.
"That pregnancy was probably the darkest time of my life, because I just thought how the hell am I going to bring another child into this."
Ms Saunders said: "When I had my son - I texted him to tell him our son was here - and he said that's great, you're coming home.
"So I went home put the baby to bed and then he decided it would be a good idea to rape me.
"Eventually, he was sentenced to three counts of rape and one of sexual assault by penetration.
"Then he was actually given 12 years in prison, three on license and lifetime on the sex offenders register."
This comes as a new campaign has been launched at Nottingham's Express Transit depot to highlight the importance of consent in tackling violence against women and girls.
Consent Campaign will see a bus and tram wrapped in campaign branding travelling around Nottingham, with the aim of starting a conversation.
At the launch, among those present were groups and organisations dedicated to supporting people who've suffered domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The event was organised by Nottinghamshire's Police & Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry, who spoke of the importance of teaching teenagers the issue of consent.
Especially for young people who may have developed a warped view of relationships from watching the internet.
Ms Henry told ITV News Central: "When you've got kids - potentially sitting on a tram going to school watching potentially PornHub where they see really bold, nasty sex which they think is normal & that's acceptable.
"We need to have conversations so people know what consent really is."
The Consent Campaign bus and tram will be travelling around Nottingham for the next 12 months.
For advice and support:
PEGS - Parental Education Growth Support
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