Businesswoman speaks out about terrifying attack by ex-partner who tried to cut her throat

An inspirational mum speaks of how her ex-partner tried to cut her throat before taking his own life as she tells the story of her recovery as a domestic abuse survivor.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 4:39 pm
Updated Monday, 24th August 2020, 11:21 am

Gemma Muncaster is one of three domestic abuse survivors to found Help Me Out – an organisation which provides furniture, household goods and toys to women fleeing abusive relationships.

The 37-year-old became an inspirational speaker and shares her story of physical and psychological abuse and how she recovered to help other women recognise and escape abuse.

Following her divorce, Gemma met a man at their local pub who showered her with love and attention and within a short space of time the mum-of-two found herself moving in with him, re-homing her two dogs, closing her businesses and stopped seeing her family and friends.

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Gemma Muncaster

"It wasn’t until the first time he raise his hand to me did I realise,” said Gemma. “I left and got my own place.

“He knew my dad has took his own life and he used that. He sent me a live video of him slitting his wrists – telling me it was my fault because he couldn’t cope with the fact I’d left him.

"I’d always wondered could I have saved my dad. Almost straight away I took him back, I put it down to mental health problems but things went from bad to worse.

"We’d moved away on the promise of a better life. In 2013, the day after Boxing Day, he tried to strangle me and the police got involved.”

Gemma Muncaster tells her story

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Gemma said she couldn’t take him back but asked police to drop the charges. It was only when officers refused saying they didn’t know if they were being called to a ‘domestic incident or a murder scene’ did she realise how serious the situation was and police fitted a panic alarm at her home.

"I was the typical victim in that I thought every time he said he would change he would,” said the 37-year-old, of Hetton.

Founders of Help Me Out Melanie Thornton, Gemma Muncaster and Lauren Beattie

"He tried to kill me and then he killed himself. He had a knife to my throat and I cut all my hands trying to fight him off.”

Gemma managed to flee to the panic button in her bedroom and hid under her bed. Police arrived and she was told the next morning that her abuser had taken his own life.

“I never got closure. I had to create my own closure and my own ending. I had to rebuild myself,” said Gemma.

“I can never change what happened to me but if I can step up and speak out, it might prevent it from happening to another woman.

"I was a businesswoman, had two children, two dogs and people ask me how I got into an abusive relationship.

"I don’t understand it myself, it just happened – it can happen to any woman. There’s no shame in it.

"My first bit of advice is to make sure you are safe, safety is paramount, and whether you’re ready to leave or not speak to someone.

"By talking to someone it makes it real.”

Now, Gemma, who features in Avon UK’s Embrace the Change campaign, is a successful businesswoman and inspirational speaker.

She is one of the three founders of Help Me Out – which is already providing essential household items to women and their children fleeing abuse.

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