Kate Friday, 20, endured pain and suffering that is disturbing on many levels. After suffering a terrifying attack from her now ex-boyfriend that left her throat ripped, the British student is speaking out about domestic abuse so other women like her can find the courage to get out of relationships like hers.
She met Kyle Newby, 21, on a dating website last year. Newby was her first boyfriend, and he became abusive and controlling within months. "I came to accept the abuse as the norm and just got used to it," she told The Liverpool Echo. "But no one should ever have to get used to that." She ignored friends and family who told her he was bad news, because he told her nobody else would be there for her if they broke up. "I was a robot by that point," she said. "I was being manipulated all the time. I was brainwashed."
In November, Friday finally broke up with Newby after suspecting he cheated on her. But she wasn't prepared for the horrifying aftermath. "The next thing I knew, he put his index finger and middle finger inside my mouth," Friday said in a court statement. "I could feel his thumb in my face as he pushed his fingers to the back of my mouth. I could feel his fingers curl upwards. I was struggling to breathe." Then she heard a popping noise, and blood came out of her mouth. It turns out he had cut her throat, near her tonsil; he later took her to the hospital and apparently said they needed to "make a story up."
Newby, who is in a new relationship, pleaded guilty to harassment and assault, but had no prior convictions. He was given a eight-month prison sentence, suspended by two years, and was ordered to complete community service and a "building better relationships" class. Friday was granted a five-year restraining order against him, but is still outraged by what she sees as a light sentence.
In a Facebook post, Friday says she shared her story to help other young women like her who are afraid to speak out and get the help they so desperately need. "Realize that you do not deserve this," she writes. "You ARE important, other people WILL love you, people WILL believe you, you WILL move on and you definitely will overcome this."
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or visit their website.
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Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
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