A woman who suffered years of abuse at the hands of her partner is urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence this Valentine’s Day.
The woman was forced to move along with her three children to a women's refuge in another part of the country to escape the abuse, but has now returned to Manchester.
She is now bravely speaking out in a bid to promote the Love Shouldn't Hurt This Valentine's Day campaign.
As part of the Valentine's Day campaign, Greater Manchester Police is working with the End the Fear Campaign, incorporating the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities and the Greater Manchester Public Health Network, encouraging other victims to come forward.
The victim is urging people to be aware that help is available to them and says the issue is highlighted on Valentine's Day.
She said: "It's a time when people become more aware of this. Women are being emotionally manipulated - they're getting the psychological abuse of being beaten and then being given a gift, so they're being made to think he still loves them.
"It's the same with birthdays and Christmas - it's a time when people feel they have to get together as a family but as soon as it's over things are back to square one.
"There are lots of reasons why people suffer. It could be because they've been manipulated into believing what their partner wants them to believe - there's always an excuse for what's happened and they end up believing that excuse. Or it could be that they don't trust the authorities.
"I'd like to tell people who are suffering that there is help out there for them. If they don't want to call the police themselves they should call a friend who could do it on their behalf, or get in touch with an organisation which helps women in that situation."
Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council's lead member for women's issues, said: "Domestic abuse victims often suffer in silence and at a time of year when relationships are often thrown into the spotlight it's important that people are aware that there is support out there for them.
"Help is available for victims, either directly through Greater Manchester Police or through the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline, who can direct victims on to other relevant agencies."
Det Supt Phil Owen said: "Domestic abuse is a serious issue that can affect anyone regardless of age or gender and we hope this campaign will channel support to those at risk. A home is a safe haven for most, but for others it is a place of heightened fear and threat.
"We hope that the Love Shouldn't Hurt campaign will offer victims reassurance that there is help and support out there, whilst also raising awareness about an issue which often goes unnoticed.
"Greater Manchester Police has specialist domestic abuse investigators on hand all year round to provide advice and support and I would urge victims to seek help as early as possible, even if it is just to find out what support and options are available to them."
You can also contact the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 636 7525, Monday to Friday for help and advice.
Visit the End The Fear website for help and support if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence.