A woman who suffered years of domestic abuse, and lost part of her ear during a savage attack, has encouraged other victims to speak out.
Debbie, who lives in the Babergh area but asked not to be identified, had some of her ear bitten off by her husband during an attack in September. She also suffered bruises on her body and required on-going hospital treatment.
Last month, her husband was sentenced to four years and 11 months in prison at Ipswich Crown Court.
Speaking about the incident which led to her contacting police, ending her relationship and seeking support, Debbie said: “I cannot remember exactly what happened but he lost his temper and I had had enough.
“He cut up my SIM card so that I could not contact anybody, went on to destroy precious things to me, like the photos of my grandson, and threw my mum’s ashes all over the floor before vacuuming them up.
“I ended up being punched in the face, then at one point I was cowering on the floor, but he was hitting my back and even tried to gouge my eyes out.
“Then he actually bit my ear and I just saw part of it lying on the floor. At one point, he had my neck in such a way that I thought he was going to kill me.”
Debbie said that it was not the first time she had been hurt at the hands of her husband.
“A couple of years ago, he head-butted me and I ended up being taken to hospital by some of my friends, but I did not press charges,” she said.
“I told them the old story that I had fallen down the stairs.”
She added that the abuse she encountered often left her in tears, but she struggled to leave.
“It was just horrendous,” she said. “It is hard when people say ‘just leave’, but there are things that hold you there.
“You just hang on but then it gets worse and worse. I do not really know why I stayed, maybe I just did not want to be on my own.”
Having finally sought help, Debbie said she was now looking to the future and wanted other domestic abuse victims to follow her example.
“You are worth a lot more than being abused by somebody else,” she said.
“A year ago, I would not have thought that I would be in this situation but I feel like I can move on and have a better life.
“I am happier now. I just wish I had got out sooner.”
DC Jonathan Chapman, from Suffolk Police, who dealt with the investigation, said he admired the strength and courage Debbie had shown to come forward.
“The abuse against Debbie was both vindictive and coldly calculated to cause her pain both physically and mentally,” he said.
“She has been left with visible reminders of the hurt caused and has a number of further painful medical procedures to still endure.”
DC Chapman said police would always take allegations of domestic abuse seriously and try to gain the trust of victims in order to help them find the confidence to confront those that harmed them.
“I am pleased that Debbie is able to present this piece, both coming to terms with her demons and being able to support others in doing similar,” he said.