To celebrate International Women's Day, Stella Eden, author and survivor of domestic abuse, has sent me the last page of her book to share with you.
We're sharing this with you today, and every day, as we're both passionate about the message she sends; whatever the reasons you found yourself in an abusive relationship - there is hope.
Stella's book tells the story of her struggles to flee and free herself from her abusive marriage. She shares how she was seeking the love and validation she never received as a child and how this led her to the arms of a manipulative, but attentive man, that would be her husband for the next 18 years.
Stella realised that her life was in danger if she didn't leave her husband, but like many women find out, leaving doesn't end the nightmare. Leaving an abusive partner can be the riskiest stage of the relationship, and Stella found out that her husband was willing to go to any lengths to prevent her from having a happy life without him.
Stella writes "my desire is to help other women who find themselves in similar situations to find their voice and courage to change their lives too, and together we can change the world".
If you are a survivor of domestic abuse or are currently in an abusive relationship, there are lots of confidential organisations that you can access. Most of these services support women at any stage of their relationship, whether you want to check out if your relationship is abusive, you want someone to talk to or you want to plan your way out; there are people to support you.
If you're concerned about the impact of an abusive relationship on you and/or your children, please hear me when I say that there is no weakness in being who and where you are today, no weakness in asking for help, and the right support will not judge you or take control of your recovery.
If you're scared, I understand, if you don't know what to do next, that's understandable. Stella survived and I have had the privilege of seeing hundreds of women survive and build better lives where they and their children are happy and embracing their recovery. You can too.