One of the most unfortunate aspects of abusive relationships is that no matter the severity of the abuse, it can be hard to break away.
Such is the case for Livvy Heppell, who was attacked by her boyfriend, Kyle Illingworth, when she refused to give him his phone. According to the Mirror, in an apparent “drug and drink fueled rage,” Illingworth punched Heppell and stomped on her face.
Illingworth had “been drinking” and “taking ecstasy” when Heppell refused to give him his phone. As a result of the attack, Heppell wound up in the Intensive Care Unit with a broken jaw, nose, and eye socket.
“She was in intensive care and had to have plates fixed in her jaw to repair the damage, and from reading the evidence she had done nothing to justify that kind of pounding.”
Meanwhile, Illingworth fled the scene and an almost week-long manhunt for him ensued.
After he was finally caught, he was charged with grievous bodily harm. The judge overseeing the case called it “one of the worst examples of grievous bodily harm” he had ever come across and sentenced him to five years in prison.
Judge Ashurst told Illingworth:
“However the argument between you and your girlfriend started, however much you had been drinking or she had been drinking, you completely lost any self control.”
But the court has recently learned that — despite the incomprehensible damage he caused her — Heppell has taken Illingworth back.
It is an unfortunate and vicious cycle from which is hard to break free. In the United States alone, a woman is beaten or assaulted every nine seconds. According to the National Coalition on Domestic Violence, one in three women experience domestic violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Surprisingly, only thirty-four percent of individuals who experience domestic violence receive treatment for their injuries, and many, like Heppell, return to their partners.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Hopefully with better awareness of these issues, the cycle of domestic violence can more easily be broken.