Actress Keira Knightley played a victim in a hard-hitting charity advert to raise awareness of domestic violence. But, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, some horror stories are real.
“He just got up and had the knife and pinned me up against the kitchen door with the knife,” said Louise in the United Kingdom, speaking about her ordeal. “Just really, basically, we were not allowed to watch TV. He got to the stage where we would become slaves. He would get them to wash him, like things that I would have to do where I was refusing to do it. That is when he started to, sort of, get the children to do that to him, wash him, shave him, cutting his toe nails, his finger nails.”
Children are also victims, witnessing and suffering domestic abuse – the consequences of which can stay with them for a lifetime.
“When we were at school, we were scared as he could get angry because we were not there,” said a young French child whose family has now found shelter in a refuge. “But at the same time, we really liked to go to school because we were not with him.”
In France alone, a woman dies every two and a half days at the hands of an abusive partner.