Abuse victim says law must change

Warrington Guardian: Christabel Young Christabel Young

“If I had stayed he would have killed me,” said 32-year Christabel Young as she recalled the years of abuse she suffered at the hands on her ex-partner.

But these painstaking memories are not something she will be able to forget.

These eight years of verbal torments and aggressive assaults have been battered into her memory forever by the man she once loved.

But the brave mum of two has decided to courageously waive her anonymity, which is automatically given to victims of sexually assault, to try and change the law.

The mum of two, from Stockton Heath, is now fighting to make sure victims of abuse are able to exercise their rights to keep their addresses safe and any other personal information completely secure.

Christabel said: “When I signed a non molestation order, which included my address, I never thought it would be given to him. He knew exactly where I lived.”

Simply knowing that her partner - who she has decided not to name - was aware of exactly where she lived, left her sick with fear until he died in August.

“Now I am free. I have been through these experiences and I feel safe to talk about it,” said Christabel.

The 32-year-old, who was forced to install CCTV at her home, added: “I used to suffer from serious anxiety and panic attacks.

“I constantly lived in fear and felt like I had to keep looking over my shoulder.”

Christabel met her partner when she was 17 and he was 32 and the couple soon moved in together.

“At first he would just smash the house up and put cigarettes out on me but it got worse,” remembered Christabel.

“He would get himself in such a rage that he would be sick in his hands and throw it in my face or throw me down the stairs.”

But many of the most serious sexually assaults happened when she knocked out or drugged by her ex-partner.

Consequently, she has no recollection of the attacks until she accidently stumbled across a number of disturbing photographs on his computer.

“Thankfully for me, it was these images that meant I could go to the police with evidence,” added Christabel.

In February 2008, her ex-partner was sentenced to four years in prison for sexual assault and was released in February 2012 with all the information he needed to immediately track her down and watch her every move.

Christabel has now joined together with Eve Thomas, from Manchester, to campaign for change.

The campaign group are due to meet with the Ministry of Justice today to discuss the issue.

To sign the petition, click here


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