The former partner of a Swindon man jailed for 11 years for domestic abuse offences has spoken out, in a bid to encourage others suffering to seek help.
Whilst her identity has not been revealed for legal reasons, Wiltshire Police have published her story, in which she says her abuser seemed nice at first before becoming possessive.
Edward Booth, 27, of Corfe Road, Toothill, was sentenced last month after a jury found him guilty of two counts of sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
You can read his victim's full story below:
“I knew Eddie as a friend before we started dating," she says.
"He seemed nice to begin with and everything was normal. I have a young son so he was always involved, and we’d often go out together for food.
“I used to go out with friends about twice a month, but Eddie started to tell me I couldn’t go out.
"He’d say people only go out so they can meet someone. He didn’t like my friends because they didn’t have boyfriends.
"If someone added me on Facebook he’d message them and ask them why they were trying to speak to me, but I just assumed he had trust issues and was a jealous person. I always thought I could help him change.
“I honestly can’t even remember when the physical abuse began.
"It happened in so many places, in my home, on the street, in front of friends, everywhere. It’s all merged into one for me now.
"He did a lot of really, really bad things to me. He Tasered me a lot of times and I remember it because the smell of burning skin was just horrible.
"He’s punched me in the head multiple times and perforated my eardrum, he spat at me, dangled me over the balcony, sexually assaulted me.
"He’d constantly put me down and make me feel worthless and dirty but I never really fought back because I just wanted it to be over quickly and I would worry if I fought back that the abuse would just get worse.
“He fractured my arm during one incident but was really apologetic after and said he loved me, so when I went to hospital I just made up a story about how it had happened so he wouldn’t get into trouble.
“He once threw a deodorant can at my head with such force that it left a huge gash in my head - I went to bed and when I woke up the next day the blood had soaked through three pillows onto my mattress. I remember looking in the mirror that morning and being covered in blood – I should have gone to hospital but I didn’t.
“He managed to have such a hold over me, I was just so tired of everything. I was tired of being a mum, of being his girlfriend.
"I was too tired to cook, clean, get out of bed and take my boy to nursery. I felt like I had nobody to tell because I felt like Eddie had isolated me.
"The abuse was affecting me physically, emotionally and mentally. I didn’t want to worry anyone and I didn’t want my problems to become someone else’s. If I’m honest, I thought he would realise one day that this isn’t how we started our relationship and he would eventually change.”
Back in March this year, Booth launched a violent attack on his victim in her own home.
He pushed her, punched her in the face several times and sexually assaulted her. As she fell to the floor, he dragged her from room to room by her hair, causing her a head injury. He then cut her arms and face with glass.
Despite the terrifying ordeal, she called out of her window to a passing member of the public, crying desperately for help, and they alerted police.
With the support of Detective Constable Jason Walsh, the victim stood up in court to tell a jury of the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Booth and he was eventually jailed on September 19.
“I really want other people to read my story and be encouraged to contact police," she says.
"Please don’t feel alone. I think so many people, especially young girls like me just walk in to any kind of relationship without noticing the red flags and then this kind of abuse becomes normal to them. I now realise it isn’t normal and no one should put up with it.”
She now says she wakes up every day happy and her and her son can move on.
"Everything feels so different, we laugh so much more.
"I have a lot to let go of, but I also have a lot to look forward to."
For more information about domestic abuse, please visit https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/article/1132/Domestic-Abuse