A mother of three has told of the years of abuse she went through in the hands of her partner – and how she hopes her courage will now inspire others.
During a 17-year relationship with Steven Blades, Angela Wright was subjected to countless beatings and injuries.
Blades, 53, of Clarksfield Road, Oldham, was jailed on Dec. 3 for 25 years after being found guilty of making death threats, two counts of GBH, seven counts of ABH and indecent assault.
He was also found guilty in two cases of rape, cruelty to a person under the age of 16 and controlling and coercive behavior.
In addition to his 25 years in prison, he will also risk another eight years of probation.
READ MORE: Muslim hiking group strikes back at disgusting Facebook racists after Christmas Day hike
Following his sentencing, mother-of-three Angela waived her right to anonymity to share his story with the MEN in the hope of helping other victims of domestic violence.
She said, “There was not a day I can remember that I did not have a broken bone or a black eye.
“I tried to leave him many times. I was just living on survival mode when I got up every morning and thought about how to get through the day.
“I thought he could kill me. He almost killed me on many occasions.”
Angela, who was 14 when they first met, said things were okay ‘for the first six or seven months’ of their relationship before the violence began.
“Then his father died and he used to give me a slap here and there,” Angela explained.
“That’s how it went for a while. Every time he hit me he would apologize and say it was because his father was dead.
“I just used to forgive him.”
Angela explained how she often felt isolated and alone during the many years of abuse, adding that she felt it was a ‘normal’ situation she was in.
“I had never really known what a relationship was when I met Steven, I just thought it was normal. I was embarrassed to talk about it,” Angela recalled.
“He used to isolate me from my family and friends, and when I saw them, I never used to say anything. I lie about how my injuries occurred.
“If I told them the truth and they confronted him, it would just be worse for me when I got home.
“I knew the relationship had not been healthy since the birth of my second child, but I just could not get out. I did not have a support network.”
– If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police or a support agency so you can get the help and support available .
– You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can contact St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Center on 0161 276 6515, whether you want to make a police report or not.
– St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Center in Manchester offers a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counseling and aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them via Greater Manchester Police or as a self-referral.
– Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential support service run by women for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused. Confidential helpline: 0161 273 4500.
But after 17 years of torture, Angela managed to leave Blades forever – she found a new home for herself and her three children.
Several years later, it was Angela’s strength that helped judge the Blades.
In a new interview with Greater Manchester Police, Angela said she hopes her courage will inspire other victims of domestic abuse to seek help.
“There is justice at the end of it,” Angela said.
“It does not matter how long ago it was. I started my journey over 38 years ago and I’m here now and I’ve finally got justice.
“Do not continue in silence. Have the strength to pick up the phone or even an email or talk to someone – one of your friends, talk to someone.
“I kept it all to myself.
“Just talk to someone so it’s reported and the person is brought to justice.”
Sign up for the BUT email newsletters to get the latest on sports, news, whats happening and more by following this link.