"People will always say to you 'just leave, just leave.' It's so easy to say but so difficult to do. Looking back, the best way I can describe to you, why I stayed for as long as I did, is that it's like a drug. A drug that chips away at your confidence, pushes your friends and family away and makes you feel completely isolated and out of control, like you need him, but you don't!
That is what you have to realise, you are so much stronger than you think and your life shouldn't be like this, love shouldn't cause you physical pain. You will gain your confidence back and leave. It takes time, but you can do it.
I used to think, life isn't worth living like this, and I didn't want to continue living, I couldn't take it anymore. Today, I'm in a loving relationship with someone who is the complete opposite to my last partner and life is worth living again. So when people say 'just leave' just know that you can and you eventually will."
"Women's Voices" is a series of testimonies from survivors of domestic abuse. Each woman tells her story anonymously, sharing her own personal experience of the abuse. By telling their stories, the survivors hope that those in similar situations reach out, ask for help, and seek support. If you are affected by domestic abuse or are concerned about someone you know, please call the Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900.