ITV Wales presenter Ruth Dodsworth 'overwhelmed' by thousands of messages of support after abusive ex-husband jailed
ITV Cymru Wales presenter Ruth Dodsworth has described being ''overwhelmed'' by the messages of support she has received since her former husband was jailed after a nine-year campaign of controlling behaviour, harassment and stalking during their marriage.
Jonathan Wignall was jailed in April after subjecting Ms Dodsworth to years of emotional and physical abuse.
Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC's Jeremy Vine show, Ms Dodsworth said she has since received ''tens, possibly hundreds of thousands'' of supportive messages.
She said: ''I have been so overwhelmed by the response.
''But most overwhelming for me are the number of people who have been through similar.''
Ruth said she had been sent letters from women and men sharing their experiences of domestic abuse, including one from a woman in her eighties.
''I've had handwritten letters, one from an eighty-five-year-old lady who's husband only died five years ago and spent her whole life living in fear of him,'' she said.
''There are so so many people going through similar with stories to tell. It's just been heartbreakingly eye-opening and I had no idea.''
Ruth spoke about feeling ''terrified'' of speaking out about her experiences and talking to police - but urged others to do so.
''Once I realised how serious it was, I was terrified of speaking up, of talking to the police and putting my life in their hands.
''Please if anyone is listening and just frightened, please dig deep and find the courage and ask for help.
''If I can be that confidante to anyone listening, If I can just encourage one person to ring for help, to call for help to take those first steps.
''You will never look back and no one will hurt you again.
''There is a life and you can have a life, trust those around you and trust in the system.''
In a social media post, Ms Dodsworth thanked those who have reached out to her.
She said: ''I have read every text, email, tweet, letter. I might not be able to reply to all but I will never be able to thank you for the love and kindness.
''I’m overwhelmed by the number of people going through similar. I’m going to do all that I can to help.''