‘When Derrick did what he did, he confirmed everything I didn’t want to admit. Everything I knew was true and seen many times but never really wanted to admit. It changed my life when I answered the phone call that night. I heard a fiercely controlling and cunning woman, the woman I was once. I feared that all the violence I had been subjected to during the years of my relationship with Derrick was fueled by the same cries and cries for help.
‘I felt fear on a level I had never felt, but this time not just for myself or my children but for another woman and her child. Derrick has never claimed responsibility for his actions or that of his children, of whom there are five. Those are the five girls who will grow up to be women. Hopefully strong and powerful women. He will also stand up and say no without question if injustice is done. Not just five more women who are figures in Derrick’s life.
‘I’ve received death threats from Derrick over the years, but the way Derrick harassed and told what and how he would do these things over the next 24 hours made me feel like my life was really at risk, And not only mine but that of my children too. Who has seen Derrick’s unstable and abusive behavior not only inside my house. But also at public or family events.
‘When a person believes that he is never at fault, or is above any law or consequence it makes for a dangerous person. Derrick has spent less than six months in prison. Is this enough time for me and many other women to heal the trauma they have suffered? No.
‘But in the last few months of my life since Derrick left, I’ve slept well. Laughed and started enjoying my life again, I have also fallen in love. My kids are no longer afraid of the constant phone calls and manipulation and obsessions Derrick has undermined me over the past five years.
‘I’ve felt comfortable going to my local shop knowing it won’t be there. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to see his car, the terrifying flash of white Mercedes in the car parking bay, knowing I had to be on my best behavior so as not to trigger anything. Worried that my daughter might miss out on organizing the promised activity if I don’t agree and go with the derrick version of events.
‘It hasn’t been my stress and it’s been totally enjoyable. Although it hurts a bit to think about how I lived for so many years. My kids are growing up and I want them to be able to move around the area they live in without the fear of hitting Derrick.
‘It was not mandatory for me to stand here and speak the truth. I was not asked to do, or was not told to do. But I needed it, I needed to heal. All I needed to do was to stand here and say I see you Derrick, for who you really are. I see your pattern and formula for abuse and control. But I also see myself strong, happy and grateful for only one thing from you and that is my beautiful daughter. You spent three months in prison, but that won’t even be what life was like with you.
‘I called the police and gave them the necessary evidence to protect myself and the woman like all other women that you can and do harm. I leave this court today knowing that my conscience is clear and I have done the right thing. I hope one day you will be able to do the same.