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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April 2005, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Victims tales - surviving violent crime
During the election campaign, political parties have crossed swords over crime. The parties disagree whether new figures indicate that violent crimes has increased. Victim Support say some developments are encouraging but that less than three per cent of victims of crime even get into court.

Two victims of violent crime tell the BBC News website their stories.

Laurence Davis: Assaulted by a group of youths

On the night it happened, I was outside the house and a group of boys about 12 years old were throwing stones at the flat. They started walking down towards me and then started throwing stones over at me.

"So I chased after them and they ran off to a park nearby. I followed them and all of a sudden they started laughing.

"I turned round and someone about 15 years old grabbed hold of me.

"about three houses away before I sat down. He came up to me again and smacked me in the head about four or five times with a baseball bat.

"I was semi-conscious at one point and while I was down on the ground, they basically went through my pockets and took my house keys. I was between a wall and a car, so it was difficult for them to do anything else.

"Then some local security guards turned up. The boy was still swinging the baseball bat and saying he was going to kill me, but they managed to take the baseball bat from him.

"Both an ambulance and the police arrived and I was taken to hospital. You can actually see the shape of the bat on my lips where I was hit. And I have one on the side of the jaw too.

"I had all the skin broken on both legs and both arms and then I had about four sort of big bruises on the side of me.

"They did a brain scan and a jaw x-ray because my teeth were out of line, but nothing was broken, it was just swollen. I couldn't shut my jaw properly.

"For at least the first two weeks after the attack I couldn't really think of anything. I felt so numb. I couldn't believe that these kids would go to that extent to harm someone.

Monica: Attacked by her partner

One night I was at home and looking after a dog for a friend. My partner and I had split and he had moved out. But he came round saying he wanted to take the dog out and he would get some dog food. But I told him he couldn't come here anymore.

"He got angry and then just went into the kitchen and got some knives. He put them to my throat saying that he was going to kill me and that I would never see my son again.

"We were then in the kitchen and he stabbed the cupboard. I flew at him, because when we shared a house together he used to smash it up all the time, and I didn't want him wrecking my place now.

"After this the scuffle moved to the sitting room and we were on the sofa. He was on top of me with three knives, pushing them into my throat, and I thought he was going to kill me.

There was blood everywhere and the knives slit two of my fingers. I finally managed to text a friend telling her to get the police.

"The police arrived and I ran out of the door with the dog. They thought I had been stabbed because of all the blood. I went to hospital and had a few stitches.

"My partner had smashed up windows and TV's but never anything as serious as this. Our house together got repossessed because of drug problems including heroin use

"He walked out on me taking all my money. I knew then that I had to get out of the house and get myself a place of my own.

"I have to say victim support have been brilliant in helping me through this.

"I won't go back to him. It's the mental abuse, he used to disappear and I would wonder if he was dead in a ditch. You don't know where the next penny is coming from because he would spend it all on drugs, you don't know if you'll have enough for the mortgage or the next meal.


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