Local mum helps shine the light on domestic abuse with the help of Hull City Council, turning Victoria Square purple to raise awareness.
Jennifer fled from her abusive relationship after enduring years of coercive control, she came back to her home after not being able to visit her friends and family for over two years. She wasn’t allowed to go to her Grandfather’s funeral, a close family friend’s funeral, and her cousin’s wedding.
Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten a victim. This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Proud to be from Hull, Jennifer had always wanted to return to her home city after spending eight long years away.
“I thought I would never escape the life I had, I still get upset that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to the ones I loved. I missed out on so much in those years. Not just that, but my family missed out on me and my children as well.”
Jennifer is now happily married and has spent years reclaiming her life back. She is an award-winning author and advocate for women in abusive relationships.
Each October, Jennifer does something different to raise awareness for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In 2018 she hosted a positive mindset Instagram challenge, and in 2019 she hosted a life after abuse series of videos on how she has taken steps forward in her recovery.
Jennifer said: “I was born in Hull and when I went to University I fell into an abusive relationship. There came a point in the relationship where I hadn’t seen any family or returned to my home city of Hull. When I fled, I came home. The support of the community of Hull has been overwhelming and I cannot thank those enough, around me, that support my efforts in raising awareness of domestic abuse.
“Thank you to HullDAP (Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership) for their support through the early stages of my recovery.
“No one should ever have to experience such insidious behaviour, but unfortunately, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.
“I believe that ‘Together we are Louder’ and this is another way of expression.”