Content note: This blog includes details of rape and sexual violence.
Early in 2018, Willow (not her real name) found the courage to leave her abusive partner of 12 years. It wasn’t the first time she’d left – and it wasn’t easy – but this time she knew it was for good.
After she left, at first they were on relatively good terms. They would text to coordinate pick up and drop off times, meet up to do handovers, and generally try to keep everything as normal as possible for the sake of the children.
As time passed, and it dawned on him that this time she wasn’t going back, his mood shifted, and everything changed.
“I knew him inside out,” Willow tells me. “I knew what he was capable of.”