“I want to help stop anyone else going through what I did”
Becky O’Brien is a proud ambassador for Women’s Aid and has shared her heart-breaking story of abuse below to help others and support our vital work at this time of year.
It’s a time of year when women and children need your help.
It was just three days after I had given birth to our twins when he first attacked me.
He had become increasingly controlling and intimidating while I was pregnant, but nothing prepared me for what was to come. He said it was my fault that the twins had been born so early. As I lay exhausted in the hospital bed, he attacked me, breaking my jaw, splitting my lip and puncturing my cheek.
I remember thinking, if I don’t get out of this he’s going to kill me.
My name is Becky O’Brien. I’m a proud Survivor Ambassador for Women’s Aid. I’m sharing my story with you because I want to help stop anyone else going through what I did.
I want people to know that domestic abuse is not only physical; controlling and manipulative behaviour is at the heart of this abuse.
I saw the dangers but didn’t recognise them as abuse. At the time, I hadn’t even heard of coercive control.
When we first met he swept me off my feet. We got engaged in the summer and married in the September. He booked the wedding date and venue without consulting me. I thought it was romantic at the time but now I can see it was controlling. Things only got worse after we married.
I felt like a prisoner in my own home, he was like an army sergeant. He didn’t like me going out on my own, didn’t want me to have a life.
Not knowing how I would cope alone, looking after four children, I told myself the physical attack was a one-off. But he became even more controlling and I was living in constant fear.
When my daughter fell ill, he suggested to the nurses that it was my fault. That was it for me. The fear of losing my baby made me realise I needed to get out.
Now I’ve rebuilt my life. I made it to the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent and I’m in a happy, healthy relationship. Together with Women’s Aid, I campaign for more specialist support so that survivors can get the help they need, at the earliest possible point.
No woman or child should face domestic abuse alone.
With your support, Women’s Aid can make sure that they are not alone at a time of year that I know from experience can be particularly hard.
Any gift you can give will make a huge difference to women and children escaping abuse.
Thank you for reading my story and thank you for supporting Women’s Aid.
With kindest wishes to you and your loved ones,