A victim of domestic violence from the north-east has thanked those who helped her through the ordeal from the bottom of her heart.
The 51-year-old woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was physically and sexually abused by her ex-husband over a number of years.
When police became involved, the case was referred to the procurator fiscal and she had to give evidence in court via video link.
She sought help from Victim Support Scotland (VSS), a charity that has a base on Regent Quay in Aberdeen, and was helped through the court process.
VSS has a witness service which helped her.
She said: “If the VSS staff member was not here with me I could not have done this.
“I really could not do it without their support because I was so scared of my ex-husband.
“The staff member helped me be strong and get through this experience. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
The staff member who helped her said: “It really was an honour and privilege to support her.
“I could tell she was feeling fragile and to help make her feel stronger and more able to cope with the court process is the best part of my job.”
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A VSS spokeswoman said: “She was very anxious when she first approached the witness service.
“During support by a witness service staff member it became very clear how much the events had affected her life.
“Her situation was made more difficult because her daughter was ill and she had to care for her while attending the court case and trying to move forward from the crime that took place against her.”
VSS staff talked the woman through the court process and used various techniques to calm her down and empower her during her days giving evidence.
The spokeswoman added: “She broke down while giving her evidence many times but found the strength to carry on.
“It was difficult to listen to her evidence because it revealed how her ex-husband’s abusive treatment had affected every aspect of her life for decades.
“The enormity of what he’d done to her and the negative effect of his actions on her life had stolen her courage to speak out for many years.”
After she had given evidence, she received guidance from VSS about what would happen next and when she could expect the trial to conclude, a jury verdict and a sentencing hearing.
The spokeswoman added: “The impact of her ex-husband’s abuse is ongoing.
“She has mentioned she still carries around a personal alarm, always has her door locked and still feels fearful for her life although she knows her ex-husband is in prison.”