Domestic abuse victim Rachel Williams, was shot in the knee by her husband after leaving him, now she needs your help to change the law to stop this happening to others. Megan Aldous reports.
It was a normal day for Rachel Williams.
The hairdresser was at work when her estranged husband burst in with a double-barrelled shotgun.
Jealous Darren Williams, opened fire in the shop, hitting Rachel in the legs. That afternoon he took his own life.
In a further tragedy, Rachel’s troubled teenage son Jack Williams killed himself in the weeks after the attack – devastated by his violent father’s actions.
Rachel Williams suffered abuse for 18 years, she has now joined forces with Mandy Thomas and Becky O’ Brien. The trio have all been victims of domestic violence and have started a petition requesting that, Theresa May reviews licenses given to perpetrators of domestic violence so the victims are protected.
The petition has 105,485 signatures, and in the new year the women will be delivering their petition to Theresa May. Rachel Williams, 44, explains what the petition means to her.
“The petition is so important because it’s a step forward in the right direction to make positive changes. We have to put the onus on the perpetrators of abuse. If they break their restraining orders or license conditions, then they need to be held accountable and punished for these breaches. Victims/survivors need to feel safe and protected once they come forward and disclose.”
Currently in the UK if someone breaks their license or restraining order they should be arrested. But that doesn’t mean they always are. In England and wales every week two women are murdered by their partner or their ex-partner. It is clear their needs to be a change.
The three women want victims to feel confident that they are protected from their abusive partners. Rachel Williams writes on the Change.Org page:
“When you report domestic violence to the police and a partner is convicted, you should be confident that you will be protected from them. The power of arrest should mean the power of arrest and as a matter of priority. If a perpetrator breaks their license and contacts their victim, they should know without a shadow of a doubt they will be arrested.”
If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship Rachel has given this advice
“They need to seek immediate help from any domestic abuse service and the police.” Rachel said.
There is a 24-hour helpline you can call to seek help.