By Kimberly Bond
Chantelle Penfold is 21, married and lives in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire but four years ago she was a victim of domestic abuse whilst pregnant. It may sound like a fairy tale, but this is real-life.
Here, Chantelle tells her story to VFTS about the abuse she suffered when she was pregnant with Jayden, who is now 3 and half.
“I was an outgoing, bubbly confident young women when I was a teenager. I had close friends & family and a very supportive unit around me till I was 16 and ended up in a hostel and then my own place. When I was 17 I had to shock of my life- in march 2009 I found out I was pregnant, yep pregnant! It was amazing news and overwhelmed me as the nurse handed me that stick with 2 big bright pink lines.”
” I felt like collapsing and looked like I had seen a ghost. The nurse was lovely offered me firstly a cup of water and a cuddle before taking me through my options. I hid the fact I was pregnant from the baby’s father for a whole week. All this changed when I was given a beating for not doing household chores to perfection (baring in mind morning sickness hit me like a ton of bricks all day every day) and I shouted out I’m pregnant!! My heart was pounding through my chest and to my surprise the father jumped with joy and was apologetic.(not the first time).
” A few weeks later again it happened except this time was because I was smoking a cigarette. Well that was the last time I ever felt the physical pain and heartache and the end of his fists because I was put in hospital. I had an emergency scan as worry was I was loosing the baby until I saw my lil bean on the screen and its lil heart beating away. By this time I was 8 weeks pregnant!
“With the support of my family,friends,the doctors & police I was moved to Bedford and placed in a women’s refuge…I felt like the loneliest person in the world. Still in pain after recovering, 17 years old and PREGNANT! Justice was never served as the what I call sperm donor ran away shortly after I was put in hospital back to Portugal and still to this day has not YET been caught.”
“3 1/2 years later I am back where I belong, married to the most amazing husband in the world and have the perfect little boy in the entire universe! My son has since been diagnosed with additional needs, autism & learning/sensory difficulties but he is the most PERFECT little boy.
“The point of briefly telling my story is to all those young parents out there that could be going through the same thing behind closed doors that feel they can’t get help because maybe they are scared please remember you don’t need to be!
- Here are some useful contacts for anyone who might be suffering from domestic abuse:
- This is ABUSE contains information and advice for anyone who is worried about domestic abuse, including real-life stories
- Refuge is a charity which helps women and children who may be at risk of domestic abuse.
- Women’s Aid can give you help and advice on where to go to escape from domestic violence, including temporary accommodation.