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Senator says 50 people approached her after she detailed her abuse ordeal

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Senator brings hope to people caught up in abusive relationships (File photograph)

A senator who revealed a horrific catalogue of sexual and physical abuse by a former boyfriend has been contacted by 20 people in similar situations after her harrowing story was published in The Royal Gazette.

Lindsay Simmons said more than 50 people had approached her after Tuesday’s article — some offering support and others asking for help and advice.

Ms Simmons added: “About a third of them, maybe up to 20 of them, are in or have been in, abusive relationships.

“Some of them came to my door. They told me to keep on telling my story. Some of them were men.

“One woman who came to my door said that my situation had inspired others.

“Some said that to know this had happened to a senator was important to them.”

Lindsay Simmons, a government senator, said she hopes her ordeal would encourage victims of domestic violence to ask for help (File photograph)

Ms Simmons added: “They wanted to tell me about their experiences. Just, basically, talking about what they have suffered for years in some cases.

“I was listening and just encouraging them to go to the police, to get help. To talk about their abuse, to talk to a friend.

“I would encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to do that.”

Ms Simmons earlier waived her legal right to anonymity to highlight the problem of rape and violence against women on the island.

She was subjected to three separate attacks by a former boyfriend when she was 23, which led to her attacker getting a 14-year jail term.

Ms Simmons said that the Covid-19 pandemic had made the problem of domestic abuse worse.

She added that when she spoke about her ordeal in the Upper House in November, a woman told her that it had given her the strength to get out of an abusive relationship.

Ms Simmons revealed that her former partner had attacked her with a machete on the night she broke up with him.

He subjected her to two more brutal attacks before she took him to court.

Ms Simmons said she had earlier been intimidated into dropping charges against her rapist but was glad that she followed through after the third incident.

The Progressive Labour Party senator said women in a similar situation should contact the Women’s Resource Centre and the Centre Against Abuse.

Ms Simmons added that some men were also trapped in abusive relationships.

The Centre Against Abuse’s 24-hour hotline is 297-8278. The Women’s Resource Centre can be contacted on 295-3882