Violence against women is a very serious subject. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in the US, American women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year.
Those who abuse and terrorize others should be locked up and convicted of their crimes. There is no excuse to take out your anger on someone else.
Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to seeing some men thinking they have the right to abuse women. Domestic violence is a big problem we are yet to get rid of.
Jenna Hurley thought she’d found ‘Mr Perfect’ when she was introduced to Mark Whiteside through a mutual friend.
The mom-of-two from Lancashire, England, became besotted with this very charming man; what impressed her the most is how well he got on with her three-year-old daughter.
“From the moment I’d introduced him to her, he’s been amazing. She’d taken an instant shine to him, calling him Markey,” she said, according to The Sun newspaper.
“He painted her bike, covered it with her favorite Disney princess stickers and fixed stabilizers. She was made up.”
But the charming veneer soon wore off to reveal a controlling and abusive man that Jenna was forced to endure for several years.
Three months into the relationship Jenna discovered she was pregnant and Mark was so happy that they would be a family. But shortly after he lost his job and his true side started to rear its ugly head.
Jenna was pregnant working two jobs and any suggestion that Mark get a job was met with anger. Jenna was also repeatedly told that she shouldn’t go out as “moms don’t go out.”
She said: “He started getting funny about me going anywhere. Even when I went back to doing a shift in a pub to support us financially, he insisted I gave it up.
“He became increasingly paranoid, constantly checking my phone and he was forever shouting at me.”
But when their daughter was born Mark was so happy and looked every inch the proud father when he held her in his arms. Jenna thought ‘Mr Perfect’ had returned and even said yes when he proposed.
When their daughter was 6 months old, Mark found a job and Jenna thought things were looking up but he would often stay out late drinking after his shift.
One night Mark returned home accusing her of seeing someone else.
Her eldest daughter was at her dad’s but their youngest was asleep and Jenna asked him to be quiet. When the baby started crying Jenna went in to settle her and when she came out of her room Mark attacked her.
She said: “He flew at me, clawing at my eyes. He hissed ‘I’m going to make you so f***ing ugly no one will want you’, as his fingers dug in.
“Shaking with terror, I was petrified he’d blind me.
“I begged him to stop but he began hitting me over and over again, then he dragged me face down onto the floor.
“Next I felt a sickening pain as his foot thudded into my back. He kept saying ‘I know you’ve been cheating'”.
Jenna was dragged around by her hair and eventually managed to get free and ran to the kitchen where he caught up with her and started choking her. The mom-of-two thought she was going to die.
Then Mark stopped and fell to the ground crying so Jenna saw her chance to escape and ran out of the door to a nearby house where her neighbors called the police.
Jenna’s dad also came to the aid of his daughter and barely recognized her as she was taken to hospital to be treated for her wounds; she was diagnosed with severe concussion.
Jenna is warning other women
Mark was arrested after the brutal attack and later sentenced to 21 months in jail and given a 5-year restraining order.
Jenna told The Sun newspaper that he could be out in 6 months and wants to warn other women so they don’t experience the horror she had to endure.
She bravely shared her story and images of the shocking bruises left by Mark on her Facebook page to warn others; the post has been shared 74,000 times and attracted 95,000 reactions.
Jenna’s physical scars may have healed by her psychological ones will remain.
There is help out there and for those in controlling relationships; it’s important to “be brave and leave”, as Jenna says.
I urge us all to stand together and help stop domestic violence.
A big thumbs up to Jenna, who showed both strength and courage by surviving this nightmarish situation!