I know other young women who’ve been beaten, but they don’t want to talk about it. Men are actually more likely to talk about the violence. I know a guy who beats his girlfriend, and his friends think she enjoys it. That she’s a masochist. I tell them it’s not true, but the men don’t believe me. They say that if she meets a new guy she’ll “make him the same”. They really believe she causes the violence!

“It turned out that the medical certificate had disappeared. I expect his father bribed someone.”

Age: 24

My boyfriend started stalking me when I said I wanted to break up with him. We were studying at the same university, so I stayed out of his way and changed my course. On the last day of term everyone kept saying I should go to the party. I’d decided to stay at home but I got lots of text messages saying he wasn’t there, so I agreed to go. I borrowed a nice dress from my sister and took a taxi.  I found out on the way that he’d turned up after all. I could see he’d been drinking. I’d only been at the party for 40 minutes, and was sitting outside on a bench, when he came up on me from behind and punched me on the back of my head. I didn’t realise what had happened at first. I tried to stand up but I couldn’t. He tried to throw me in the fountain. I don’t know how long it all went on. I passed out more than once.

In the end, the husband of one of my friends came along, and there was a real fight, and then the security guards came. I tried to call the police but I didn’t have a number that worked from my mobile phone.
The next day I had a sore neck and lots of bruising. At the hospital, I was diagnosed with concussion. They wanted to keep me in but I was going away on a course and I’d promised to go to a fashion show. So I signed a paper to say I refused to be admitted.

 I did go to have my injuries registered, but the doctor said there was no point, it wouldn’t be enough in court.

However, I did go to have my injuries registered, but the doctor said there was no point, it wouldn’t be enough in court. I reported it to the police, but the officer wasn’t particularly interested, and he too said they get lots of reports like mine and they usually don’t lead to anything.

When I got home two weeks later I felt much better, and my injuries had almost healed. During this time I’d received a very strange letter saying that the police had closed the investigation – against me. It turned out that my medical certificate had disappeared. I expect his father bribed someone. 

I decided not to take the matter any further. It’s not worth the trouble. Sadly, none of the witnesses seemed to want to help me. Some said they “didn’t want to take sides”. Others were worried that testifying in court might cause problems for them at work. Several witnesses even claimed that the assault never took place, or that I was the one who’d started an argument.