As the charity founder I could not have set this with up without having been a victim of domestic abuse. I am actually the survivor of two abusive relationships and with the added trauma of my perpetrators colluding, which has had a devastating impact on my son and mine, mental health.
I was a victim that defended herself which the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) at that time, didn’t think were credible actions of a victim , so I wasn’t gratified with a prosecution, however, my perpetrator spent more than one night in Bethel Street police station and was finally removed from the family home with a Non Molestation Order. I was always a person that took flight and was victim to those that wanted to fight, control, harass and abuse. I certainly admit to defending myself, my son and our possessions of which perpetrators or sociopath’s have no boundaries along with no conscience for telling lies and victim blaming.
A picture of the winners of the 2008 Business Start-up Awards, I’m standing in the back row on the left.
Previously I had been a strong, confident woman with a successful career that I had self-built. I was an accredited Business Adviser for Business Link Norfolk, the Business Manager of Norwich University of the Arts and I had set up and run two successful businesses with the first being sold as going concern.
Upon divorce and an easy target for economic abuse, Seriously Responsible Print Ltd, which was my 2nd business of which I had wholly funded, created a brilliant brand with a great ethical and social concept, which won three award in it’s first year for environmental excellence and not to mention of which I was extremely proud, was taken down by unscrupulous and calculating methods of my perpetrator. I received a pension award of just under £50K because it was obvious to the courts what he had done. After losing this 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 and this has enabled me to understand what happened to me and why I entered into relationships with abusive men.
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 help you, as they understand.
I have also learned that by having empathy, i.e. that I was able to understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions – that these were key traits that my abusers were attracted to (Healing from Hidden Abuse, Shannon Thomas, 2016).
Domestic abuse changed me as a person and completely disrupted my life. I now view myself as extremely fortunate. The experience and knowledge gained, has been the inspiration for Orto Stella. Orto Stella will help other women not just survive but thrive.
Finally, I dedicate Orto Stella to my father, who was the biggest and most positive influence in my life. He died on the very same day I married into what was the most devastating effect of my life – devastating apart from losing my father to cancer.
A Picture of me at my Graduation ceremony in 2014