LAURA, 24, MARRIED YOUNG AFTER A MATCH WAS MADE IN ISRAEL. SHE NOW LIVES IN LONDON WITH HER TWO CHILDREN AND IS TRYING TO OBTAIN A GET (RELIGIOUS DIVORCE)
“Before we had children, [my husband] was physically and emotionally abusive,” she recalls, “but I always blamed myself and thought I did something wrong. I asked one counsellor [in Israel] for advice and she told me to have a child because it would bring out the ‘fathering’ side of him. It wasn’t true.
“My oldest child wasn’t quiet. When she was a baby, she would cry and scream at night, which would wake him up. He didn’t like that. One night I couldn’t calm her down. He came into the room and shook her hard. From then, I would never leave her alone in the cot — I slept with her. I was so scared she would wake him and he would do something.
“When she was three, she had a lot of energy so he would hit her, pinch her and lock her in a room. I would go to open the door, but I was not able to protect her from him.”
Laura was hit or kicked by her husband on “my body, arms, legs and stomach — areas covered by my clothes.
“I considered running abroad with the children, but someone told me this could amount to kidnapping so I was referred to a lawyer.”
Since leaving the family home, her husband calls to speak to the children. But her daughter refuses to talk to him. “Once I gave her the phone and she broke it.”