I just listened to the Escape the Control radio interview and some parts really hit home to me.

My relationship with my partner ended when he pushed me twice in a drunken rage after drinking all day at my friend’s birthday party. He has some form of alcohol dependency and is in denial about that triggering his anger issues. There is alcoholism in his family so heavy drinking and kicking off is rather normalised by them. He has also been through a lot that he has not dealt with hence the anger, but this is still absolutely no excuse for his behaviour.

He had never put his hands on me before then but that was a line crossed for me – I could never get past it, even it had been an isolated incident. I was not willing to take the risk of staying with him. I knew I could never save him but loved him so deeply I thought with my support we could get through anything together till that point.

I can see why people stay though. In the moment you are dealing with the here and now so you do keep faith. I did for nearly 4 years as I held on to the lovely, kind and supportive man I loved so much. He has taken no responsibility for his behaviour or actions since we split up so he isn’t who I loved anymore at all and clearly in denial about getting help. So sad really, but not my worry anymore.

Now I look back I can see how much the angry-drunk him would put me down. I was always on edge at events if he had a drink. Sober, angry or happy he would always say he was lost without me, I was his everything, the best thing he had and that he’d give up completely on love if we ever split.  So hearing about the ‘exaggerated love’ in the campaign… It never entered my head that maybe that was a form of control from him… it’s made me think about just how toxic and abusive our relationship could have spiralled if he hadn’t physically touched me until further down the line.

Seeing the campaign has just reconfirmed that I made the right decision walking away, so thank you for sharing this and raising awareness. I think it’s brilliant there is a local service out there for people who will really need it.

Helen, 20, Sefton

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