A brave domestic violence survivor has shared shocking photographs of her sickening injuries to encourage other victims of abuse to get help.
Lynn Hart’s eyes were swollen shut for days and she was covered in bruises after a vicious beating from her boyfriend of three years, David Harrison.
Terrified Lynn said she thought she was going to die when thug Harrison flew into a rage on May 5 at his flat after returning from the shops with alcohol.
He repeatedly punched Lynn, 53, in the face and used a TV speaker as a weapon to continue the attack.
While she lay defenceless on the floor, Harrison stamped and spat at his partner.
When Lynn visited her GP with her injuries, they were so horrific she was taken through the surgery’s back door to avoid upsetting other patients.
West Midlands Police charged Harrison with wounding and he was jailed for seven years after admitting the charge at Wolverhampton Crown Court on September 3.
Speaking about the attack, Lynn said: “I genuinely thought he was going to kill me. He just kept punching me in the face and then picked up the TV speaker and used that to hit me.
“I don’t remember how I got out of the flat… it’s all a blur.
“I went to my son’s house where he called the ambulance and police.”
The beating was the latest in a series of violent outbursts Lynn was subjected to.
She added: “I love David, that’s why I stayed with him through the beatings, in the hope he’d change… but I knew my life was in danger if I stayed with him and enough was enough.
“We moved in together about six months after meeting and at first everything was great.
“But he was a heavy drinker and slowly things started going wrong.
“First it was verbal abuse, putting me down and telling me things like ‘your family don’t love you, only I love you’.
“But then he started with the physical attacks… and they got worse over time. I would put on extra make-up and come up with excuses for anyone who saw through the concealer.”
Lynn said each time Harrison attacked her, he would apologise and promise it would never happen again.
She added: “But I also thought there’s no point reporting it to the police as it would be my word against his, I wouldn’t be believed, and he’d then beat me even more.”
After Lynn plucked up the courage to report him to the police after the latest beating, despicable Harrison was arrested the next day.
The 52-year-old, of Dudley, West Midlands, initially pleaded his innocence and said Lynn had fallen down a flight of stairs.
But West Midlands Police charged him with wounding and he was jailed for seven years after admitting the charge at Wolverhampton Crown Court on September 3.
Now, Lynn wants to use her story to encourage other people in violent relationships to get help.
She added: “Looking back I should have got the police involved earlier but it’s easy to say in hindsight.
“They supported me from the moment I reported it, believed in me – that was important – and guided me through the court process.
“There might be thousands of people in the position I was in, torn between their love for a partner but every day scared they could be assaulted for no reason, just a stray look or word. Or even no reason at all.
“What I’d say is get help. It’s unlikely their abusive partner will suddenly just change – so speak to support groups like Women’s Aid and speak to the police. They can help you escape violent situations and come out the other side.
“I know how difficult breaking away can be but I truly feel that if I’d have stayed with David any longer I would have ended up dead.”
Detective Inspector Catherine Webb-Jones, of West Midlands Police said: “Harrison’s abusive behaviour escalated over time yet Lynn hoped he would change.
“She chose not to support prosecutions in the past through fear and in the hope his aggression and violence would stop.
“It didn’t stop. Harrison proved to be a monster in drink with alcohol often being the trigger for his offending.
“Lynn’s appeal comes from the heart: victims of abuse need to find the courage to seek support… don’t suffer alone and don’t tolerate abuse. Lynn is a survivor and others victims can take comfort and seek their own solace from the courage she has shown.”
Victims of domestic violence can find help at:
Women’s Aid supports victims of domestic abuse: womensaid.org.uk or 0808 2000 247.
RESPECT is a group that can help identify the root causes of domestic abuse and work with perpetrators to change; they can be contacted at respect.uk.net or 0808 802 4040.