25 November 2009

Take My Hand

When I was asked if I was interested in promoting the Women's Aid charity single on Baby Baby I didn't have to think twice.

I was in an abusive relationship once. I won't write about it as I try not to think about that awful time. The only thing I will say is when you realise you're being abused verbally, emotionally or physically GET OUT STRAIGHT AWAY. Don't hope that things will improve. They won't. Don't worry about what other people will think of you. Let them say I told you so. It doesn't matter. The people that care for you will breathe a sigh of relief and help you pack.

I was lucky, I was able to get out. Some women are not so lucky.


Women’s Aid release charity single Take My Hand

On Wednesday 25th November 2009, national charity Women’s Aid is celebrating 35 years of working to end violence against women and children by releasing their first charity single, ‘Take My Hand’. The song has been written especially for the charity to help them raise vital funds to support abused women and children. The single, which is being released to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, is sung by 13 year old classical singer Olivia Aaron, with Natasha Benjamin, a real-life survivor of domestic violence. The song is based on the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8, ‘Sonata Pathétique’ and its lyrics are an expression of the emotions experienced by children and young people affected by domestic abuse.

Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Nicola Harwin CBE, said:

Take My Hand has been written especially for Women’s Aid and reflects the words of families that have survived abuse. The song reflects hope for a future free from violence and we hope it will reach out to those affected by domestic violence as well as the wider public. We want to raise awareness of the support available and raise vital funds so that we can continue to provide these services.”

Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women at some point in their lifetime and recent statistics from the Women’s Aid Annual Survey show that last year an estimated 18,000 women and 20,000 children lived in refuge accommodation in Women’s Aid’s national network of services.

The launch of Take My Hand on the 25th November marks the beginning of Women’s Aid’s activities to mark the ’16 days of Action’, where the charity will ask the public to help them take action against violence against women and children.

For more information on the ‘16 Days of Action’, go to www.womensaid.org.uk.

To buy Take My Hand for 79p, please go to www.womensaid.org.uk/takemyhand or straight to itunes.

Natasha's story:

‘I was only with my boyfriend for three weeks when he started to become verbally aggressive. The first time he got aggressive I thought I must have said something that upset him and he went mad. He started throwing things at the walls, even a wine glass that had red wine in it. As I left the room he continued to throw things after me and a glass plate just missed my face. The first time I did try to get help I was told to leave him, but it was not that easy. When it happened again I told no one, firstly from sheer embarrassment, and later from fear.

One night I woke up with his foot on my face and my boyfriend saying he was going to stamp on me. I had to sleep in contact lenses as it was a common occurrence for him to wake me up with demands or threats. I was so afraid of not being able to see when the assaults took place as I might not be able to get away.

I experienced a severe form of domestic violence that also included a range of abuse, from controlling where I was and what I did, to pulling my hair, to eventually strangulation. My daughter witnessed the abuse and we were both very frightened of what would happen. I was only with him for six months where he nearly killed me.

I stayed in a Women's Aid refuge which provided us with safety and which gave us the support we needed to rebuild our lives. I am singing on 'Take My Hand' to not only raise vital funds for Women's Aid but also to provide a message of hope to women and children currently living with violence in the home - thanks to support services provided by Women's Aid there is hope for a safe future free from fear.’

Thank you for reading.



  1. That's so sad to hear and I feel very lucky not to have experienced anything like that. I did have one relationship though, which I came out of a very different person...I became very meek and mild thanks to his jealousy. Ironically, it ended because he had an affair. Perhaps emotionally it meant I had a very lucky escape.

  2. Bless you Sandy for supporting this very important charity. Every single day women are abused and it must stop. I have been lucky; but I have witnessed abuse on women throughout my life and this is a cause that is dear to my heart. Thank you for spreading the word and doing what you can.

  3. Many people abuse their partners just by using cruel words and they don't even realise that they are doing it. Abuse doesn't have to be extreme. It can be everyday. I really liked this post Sandy. It was very worthwhile!

  4. Thanks for posting about this Sandy. It made for a powerful read.

  5. I was in an abusive relationship when I was still in my teens with an obsessively jealous man seven years my senior. Even though I didn't live with him I stayed in a very intense relationship with him for two years as he managed to destroy all my confidence and self esteem. I believe I still have underlying issues dating back to this time.

    It was hard to extricate myself...I can't
    timagine how difficult it must be if you are married, living with or have kids in these situations.

    Thanks for posting about this. I believe it's a very undervalued cause in the public perception and needs all the profile raising it can get.

  6. Good on you for supporting this, I managed to get out too, but if I had not I dread to think what would have happened.....

  7. Almost Mrs Average, I just feel lucky that I was in a position to leave him. I became a different person with him too. I'm glad to hear your experience is in the past.

    Gigi, It is a wonderful charity. It wasn't so bad for me that I needed them, but many women do. I'm just glad I can help in some small way.

    Gaelikaa, you're quite right. People can wear you down and take away your self-esteem. In the case of my ex, he really couldn't see that he was a bully.

    Fraught Mummy, thank you x

    Geriatric Mummy, I agree, these things stay with you. I'm sorry to hear about your unhealthy relationship. As I said I try to put the whole sorry episode behind me. One very good thing to come out of it is when I met Andy I knew straight away that he was an honest, genuinely lovely man. I hope we can raise awareness of a fantastic cause.

    Tawny, oh love, how terrible. As least you did get out x


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