Domestic abuse victim speaks out
A Cambridgeshire woman who survived a violent attack by an ex-partner is urging other women to stand up to domestic abuse.-->-->
Helen George's former boyfriend, Fabian Pylee, was jailed for two years this week after he set upon her at her home in Somersham last August.
The 25 year old was left with a fractured cheek and severe bruising after she was punched, kicked and had her head stamped on.
Neighbours called the police after hearing her screams.
Helen has released the photos of her face after the attack to raise awareness of domestic violence.
She wishes she had looked out for the warning signs:
"A lot of it was just little comments, which built up. He ended up turning everything around so it was always my fault. Now I wouldn't let myself get into a relationship like that again - I hope I'd be able to recognise the signs...
If he didn't want me to speak to someone he just deleted all the numbers from my phone, and I just put up with it. The key is if you notice things like that you shouldn't put up with it - if they start getting angry and aggressive about that it's obviously a sign of what the future will hold for you.
"Unfortunately you end up feeling quite trapped in that sort of relationship. I felt that I loved him, so I let it go. I'd say the mental abuse is probably more damaging than the physical abuse anyway."
Although Pylee was served with a restraining order her banning him from contact with Helen for five years she felt forced to move away from her home in Somersham in December.
Helen's working to put the attack behind her - but says she's having to recover from more than just physical injury:
"It was the mental scars that were left. A lot of people thought that when the bruising was gone then I should be over it. But that's the thing about this kind of abuse - you can't be your normal self, it's only now, six months on, that I'm starting to feel more like myself again."
If you're in a violent relationship, you can call Women's Aid's confidential hotline on 08454 103 123 or go to their website. They offer support and advice as well as local emergency accomodation for women (and children) needing to leave home.
You can also contact:
National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000 247
Rape Crisis - 01733 311 311
Men’s Advice Line - 0808 801 0327
Broken Rainbow (helpline for LGBT people) - 08452 60 44 60
Victim Support - 0845 38 995 23
In an emergency, always contact the police on 999.