Woman who used domestic abuse safe word speaks of ordeal
A woman who used a safe word to alert a friend during a domestic assault in Colchester has spoken of her ordeal after her abuser was jailed for a year.
The woman, who did not wished to be named, text a friend a pre-agreed safe word on November 13, 2019 when her ex-partner, David Mullins, assaulted her.
Officers from Essex Police arrested Mullins, 36, of Carnarvon Road, Clacton, and on Tuesday, April 7 he was later jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court after he admitted five counts of common assault and one count of causing actual bodily harm.
He was also made subject of a five year restraining order, helping to further protect the victim.
The woman said: “There was an incident on my birthday and I made an agreement with a friend that I’d text the word pineapple if I was in danger.
“The situation was getting worse and I sent the text to her before my ex-partner was arrested for assaulting me.
“Helen, the investigating officer, was really supportive and I could really open to her.
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“She was contactable at any time, in fact I once emailed her at 2am in the morning.
“Since my ex was arrested my life has changed. I’m not anxious, I’m not constantly looking at my phone and I feel confident and free.”
Mullins was also convicted of four other assaults between January and November 2019.
Investigating officer DC Helen Kingston-Ross, of Colchester Domestic Abuse Investigations Team, said: “The victim showed huge strength and courage to report this to police and then to see it through, even in the times that the end result seemed to be impossible to reach.
“I’m so pleased that we were able to take action to protect her and her young family from further harm.
“Establishing a code word to let your children, friends, neighbours or colleagues know that you’re in danger and to call the police certainly helps and I would actively encourage more people experiencing domestic abuse to consider doing the same.”
Anyone suffering from domestic abuse, cases of which are expected to rise during the coronavirus lockdown, are advised to contact Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care and be directed to the right service for their area.
To get in touch, call 0300 303 3706 or visit the charity’s website here.