Karen Hanna, woman was brutally beaten and raped by her ex-boyfriend Anthony Phillips,during an eight-day ordeal is now urging other victims of domestic violence to seek help before it is too late. Years after being on the edge of life and death she plucked up her courage to tell her own story of love and torture.
She said: “Knowing Anthony from the past, I felt like we had a connection. There was a spark between us. He’d had his own problems but he had turned his life around too. I felt as though we could make a fresh start – together.
But just two weeks we started dating, Anthony showed his darker side. He kept accusing me of looking at other men everywhere we went. One day I was just looking out of the window but he thought I was ogling another man. He started hitting me and pulled out a clump of my hair.
The next day he gave me a sob story about how difficult his life had been and how much he loved me, she explained. Stupidly, I believed him. I was scared of going to court and I always think everyone deserves a second chance. However, he was recalled to jail and things got worse.
He was paranoid and controlling – even from his prison cell. He was forever phoning me and accusing me of sleeping with other men. I told him to leave me alone – but he didn’t listen. On Christmas Day, he rang me 142 times. After he was released, I thought if I saw him, he would accept the reality.
But when we got inside my flat, he clicked the lock in the door, and said to me: “I will be going to prison for you”. My blood ran cold. I knew he was planning something sinister. I had to make up stories about having sex with my landlord and with men I knew – because it gave him a thrill.
The next eight days he raped and beat me, pulled out clumps of my hair, smashed my teeth with a TV remote control, cracked my ribs, broke my nose and stood on my throat repeatedly. Even when he dozed, I was awake, trying to pluck up the courage to escape. But I was terrified, I knew if he caught me he would kill me.”
However, after Anthony fell into a drunken stupor Karen managed to escape and went straight to the police. Phillips was arrested but the nightmarish feelings of insecurity, anxiety and constant fear didn’t leave her for a long time.
She was depressed and even attempted to end her life but with the help of a domestic violence advisor she pulled herself together and decided to use her experience to help other women. She said: “Take what little strength you have in your body and get out of it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a long, hard road but it’s worth it.”