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The day I went into labour, we were hardly on speaking terms. My husband had managed to distance himself from me and my family due to arguments and as I was stuck in the middle, I felt psychologically pulled and tugged at from all directions. My son was born during the holy month of Ramadhan without any problems and after spending a day in hospital, I was allowed to go home however as a new mother, my family offered their help so I could rest and so I went directly to the family home. That first and only evening I stayed, the topic of the baby’s name was being discussed. My husband flew into a rage, standing above my mother and sister, and launched into an abusive tirade over naming the baby. I sat and watched this whole performance in tears, emotionally and physically drained from having a new baby and now having to deal with this, and knowing that again, I would be put in a position whereby I would have to watch who I agreed with. The abuse that was hurled that evening led to me having to go to my own house in tears and distress.
From then on, my husband made sure that he was in control and so my visits to family were monitored. Whether it was visiting my grandparents next door or family, I had to be home on the dot at a certain time. Things were becoming so strained, I lost count of how many times he left. His suspicion and paranoia over me grew and grew, accusing me of cheating him out of a visa, adultery, not informing him properly when it came to financial matters, all of which he was fully aware of as he was in control of everything. Things came to a head one evening, the first time he beat me. I was sat on the floor and again, the endless abuse he was directing at my family got too much for me. Cowering over me as he held my son, he went on and on until I snapped and retaliated back with a few words. Before I knew it, I felt the hardest strike on my left arm, and it went on and on and on for what seemed like forever. He had grabbed my boot and was hitting me on loop. My son was old enough to be able to scream ‘no,no,no’ and yet this monster kept going. I was screaming, my son was screaming, my brother-in-law and sister were in the room next door and didn’t come to help me because it wasn’t in the interest of his family to get involved as this would sever ties. It was my screaming that lead my husband to threaten me. ‘Shut your mouth otherwise I will sit on this baby and kill him’. I stopped screaming and totally in shock, took my baby. And as it fell silent, the ‘I’m sorry’ came in abundance. I kept quiet but I knew that those that had heard everything would make sure everyone knew. I didn’t call the police as I was embarrassed and I didn’t want the attention on me with police cars driving in and the neighbours coming out. I didn’t speak with my brother in law or sister for a long time, a resentment I held for a long time. The help and rescue just didn’t come for me on that occasion.