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Posted On: 21st Jan 2014

Speak Out Against Abuse

Booklet illustration
Iona's written emotions
Illustration of victim with teacher

A former victim of domestic violence has helped create an illustrated booklet to support those with similar experiences.


Twenty-year-old ‘Iona’, whose real name has not been used, says she endured six years of physical and emotional abuse from her mum’s ex-boyfriend.


After finding the courage to speak about her ordeal at the age of 15, the Scottish Highlands Fixer is hopeful her campaign will inspire others to do the same.


‘I remember being too frightened to tell anyone because he made me think it was my fault,’ Iona explains.


‘The first time I spoke about it was when a teacher saw me crying at school and asked what was wrong.


‘Before then, we were completely shut off as a family. I went from being a happy teenager to not even talking to my friends or going out.


‘I used to cry myself to sleep and think, “Why is this happening?”’


Iona hopes her booklet, which is based on her own experiences, helps others spot the signs of abuse and seek help.


‘I think it was important to show what it was like before and after the abuse,' she adds.


‘It was difficult going back to that place in my life but at the same time, it’s nice to think that it could be helping someone else.


‘The point behind it is to show that domestic abuse does happen and you can’t be scared of telling someone about it.’


Her booklet, which she hopes will be used in schools and libraries, is aimed at students in their early teens.


‘I think it’s important that we let young people know that there is a way out,’ Iona explains.


‘Often it’s about finding someone you can trust like a teacher to speak with, which is why we’re targeting this age group.


‘If I can find the strength to move on, then so can everybody else.’


 If you or someone you know may be at risk of domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline or call them on 0808 2000 247 anytime – calls are free.


Click the image below to see Iona's full booklet 'Then Everything Changed':  


Author: N. Farooq


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