My name is Christina Norton. My motivation for setting up this Charity is my own experience as a victim of domestic abuse. The kind of support I needed to rebuild my confidence and my life didn’t exist; now I have built Orto Stella to give that support to other women like me.
I am the survivor of two abusive relationships, with the added trauma of my perpetrators colluding. This has had a devastating impact on both my and my son’s mental health.
I was a victim that defended herself, which the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) at the time, didn’t think were credible actions of a victim. So, I was not gratified with a prosecution. However, my perpetrator spent more than one night in a police cell and was finally removed from the family home with a Non-Molestation Order. I was always a person that took flight and was
A picture of the winners of the 2008 Business Start-up Awards, I’m standing in the back row on the left.
Like many victims of domestic abuse, I had previously been a strong, confident woman with a successful career. I was an accredited Business
I built and wholly funded Seriously Responsible Print Ltd. It was a brilliant brand, with a great ethical and social concept. The business won three awards in its first year for environmental excellence, I’m proud of what I achieved. But I was heartbroken that that business was destroyed, by unscrupulous and calculating methods, as part of a campaign of personal and economic abuse and control by my second perpetrator. I received a pension award of just under £50K because it was obvious to the courts what he had done. After losing the business, I returned to University and undertook a Law degree and graduated in 2014.
Over the years, I have read many books, research papers and attended workshops/courses on domestic abuse. This has enabled me to understand what happened to me and why I entered into relationships with abusive men.
An abuser, the perpetrator, the persuader/manipulator, isolates you, shakes your own self-belief and puts doubts in other people’s’ minds. It takes enormous strength and support to move on from this – both of which, in an abusive relationship, I certainly struggled to find.
Having clarity of mind whilst living with domestic abuse is a myth. Generally, you have no idea why you are being treated this way, so your responses can hardly be well informed, and you should hardly be blamed for them, but you are. Only someone who has experienced or is experienced in domestic abuse can understand and can help you.
I now fully understand about narcissistic and highly manipulative characters and behaviours. A narcissistic person can never take responsibility for their own actions. As you can and do take responsibility, you have chosen an opponent you will never beat.
I have also learned that my empathy, i.e. the ability to understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions – are exactly the traits that my abusers were attracted to (Healing from Hidden Abuse, Shannon Thomas, 2016).
I dedicate Orto Stella to my father, who was the biggest and most positive influence in my life. I married on the day that he died. Losing him on that day was devastating. And it turned out to be the start of an utterly sinister chapter in my life.
A Picture of me at my Graduation ceremony in 2014