The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
17°C | 9°C
10°C | 3°C
13°C | 2°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Medway News Article
A mother who has been brutally beaten by five different men has pledged to help other victims of domestic violence.
Emma Hutchinson has been to Medway Maritime Hospital’s accident A&E department five times over the last 10 years after a series of abusers have tried to throttle, drown and kill her.
But for much of the time, the petite 36-year-old has suffered in silence - too frightened to report the appalling attacks she has been subjected to.
It was after the latest sickening assault that former hairdresser Emma decided to try and turn her life around.
She had gone for a night out with friends but on her return to her Chatham home her then boyfriend slapped, punched and dragged her by the hair after she refused to tell him where she had been.
She managed to grab a phone and called her mother, a retired school teacher who dialled 999.
Giving evidence behind screens. Emma bravely relayed to the jury at Maidstone Crown Court how John Keenan, 34, lashed out at her in a drunken outburst. He’s now awaiting sentencing.
Speaking from her smart semi-detached house, she said; “I am in pieces. But I had to go to court. It was sheer determination."
Text messages Emma revealed Keenan’s dramatic mood swings - from accusing her of dressing like a “slut” to begging for forgiveness and recommending what television to watch.
It was one of these messages, that helped convict Keenan, who denied causing actual bodily harm on June 20.
It read: “I am so, so sorry about the blazing row we had. I understand if you never ever speak to me again.”
Emma, mum to two daughters aged six and eight, said the assault in which she was punched, head-butted and kicked in the head, was by no means the worst inflicted on her.
In her past, in which she has had relationships with a secret drinker, drug user and gambler, she has been knocked unconscious.
She said: “At first they appear very friendly and in some cases you feel sorry for them.
“You have no way of knowing. It is not as if they come along with the words ‘woman beater” written on their head.
“They the start to control you and twist things to such as extent that you think it’s you.
“You feel like a block of ice, and they have got a pick and are gradually chipping away at you until you have nothing - absolutely no self-esteem” - Emma Hutchinson
“You believe you are in the wrong and then you start thinking you are going crazy.
“You feel like a block of ice, and they have got a pick and are gradually chipping away at you until you have nothing - absolutely no self-esteem.”
When Emma left Hundred of Hoo School with an impressive string of GCSEs she went into hairdressing.
Now 20 years on, she is looking to go to college and qualify to advise women what to do if they are a victim of domestic violence.
She said: “I am on anti-depressants and on an anxiety course but it’s only if you have faced it yourself that you really know what it is like.
"I have decided I wanted to help people who have been through what I have been through.“
Click here for more news from Medway.
Click here for more news from around the county.