A woman from Gloucestershire who was trapped in an abusive relationship for 10 years has urged fellow victims to speak out and seek help.
Lucy, which is not the woman’s real name, suffered physical and verbal abuse during a decade-long relationship with a former partner.
The relationship started when Lucy was just 18-years-old, and quickly became abusive after she was made to cut ties with her family.
Speaking out as part of a new campaign by Gloucestershire Police, Lucy said she didn’t even realise suffering in a relationship was not ‘normal’.
It is estimated nearly two million adults living in the UK aged between 16 and 59-years-old have experienced domestic abuse in the past year - but 46 per cent of those said they do not see themselves as victims of a crime.
The ‘16 Days of Action’ campaign by Gloucestershire Police starts today, and Lucy has shared her story in the hope it will encourage other victims to speak out.
How you can report domestic abuse:
If you are in an emergency situation and need to call the police but cannot speak or make a sound, here's what you need to do.
Dial 999 from your mobile and press 55 when prompted.
This immediately alerts the police to the fact you are in a genuine emergency - like in a domestic abuse scenario.
Callers need to listen and respond to questions and instructions, including by coughing or tapping the handset if possible, or if using a mobile phone, once prompted by the automated Silent Solution system, pressing 55.