Tony, 38, from Chelmsford never believed men could become victims of domestic abuse, until it happened to him.

The mechanic met Lisa in his local pub one Friday night. He was feeling good about himself. His life was back on track after divorcing his wife, he was settled in his new flat, enjoying a social life again and hoped he might meet someone new.

After dating for a few months Tony felt the time was right to ask Lisa to move in with him and she jumped at the chance. But that was when things changed.

Tony stopped talking to his friends and family completely to avoid further confrontations with Lisa.

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Lisa’s behaviour appeared to change overnight. On reflection she had always been controlling, wanting to know who Tony was texting, asking to look at his Facebook page and always ringing him when he was out with his friends. But at the time put her behaviour down to her being keen and wanting to know everything about her new boyfriend.

But when Lisa moved into his home, her controlling behaviour took over. Lisa would react angrily if Tony was even five minutes late home from work and the arguments she caused if he wanted to see his friends or family meant that he stopped bothering.

Things turned violent one Friday night when Tony went to the leaving drinks of a long-standing colleague. When he got in Tony was faced with a barrage of questions from Lisa. Her verbal aggression soon turned to violence and she punched him the face, knocking him to the floor.

From that moment on the violence and psychological bullying continued. Tony would regularly be punched, kicked and scratched when he got home from work. He stopped talking to his friends and family completely to avoid further confrontations with Lisa.

Six months after the violence started, one of Tony’s friend spotted him in the street and asked he why he never returned calls or went out with his friends anymore. Tony could not hide the truth any longer and confided in his friend about the violence he was enduring. The friend encouraged Tony to seek help and went with him to Chelmsford police station. Tony spoke to specialist domestic violence detectives and told them about the abuse he had been suffering.

Lisa was arrested and with the help of the police and an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) Tony was able to secure an immediate injunction against Linda whilst he waited for her to be prosecuted in court. The injunction was granted and she left Tony’s flat. Lisa was later prosecuted in court and with the help of his friends, family, Essex Police and his IDVA Tony was slowly able to put his life back together.