In the UK, one in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in her life. Chrissy decided to take a stand against this and took part in a march and then hosted a conference on the same day.
Over 300 people attended and listened as Chrissy and co-presenters spoke in depth about the effect of mental and physical abuse on women’s well being. Importantly, they also defined abuse, explained how to recognise the tricks that perpetrators employ and introduced RAHAB (Removing All Hurt and ABuse), a support group that helps abused women to overcome the debilitating effects of a bad relationship.
RAHAB is one of many organisations that have been set up in recent years to help abused women reclaim their lives, and Maria Constant is one of its many successes. Now a happy woman in control of her life, Maria spent many years in an abusive marriage, living on the edge, awaiting the next outburst and blaming herself when in fact there is never any excuse for abuse.
The trouble started within just a few months into their relationship. “He’d just flip and throw punches, but I assumed it was because of something I did,” she said. “We even got married as I honestly believed he would be different once we’d made our vows. Sadly, I was wrong. For years the violence was swept under the carpet, like the dirty little secret it was. I can’t count how many times I cried in silence, while he slept it off.”
Maria then came across RAHAB and gradually rebuilt her life from scratch, deciding that the past would not dictate her future. As a result she grew to value herself and recognise that she was not at fault.
“I know if I had broken the silence earlier it would have been a completely different story. Nonetheless I have done it now – it’s never too late and it certainly ended the violence for me,” she said.