A MUM has bravely revealed how she was beaten so badly by her controlling toyboy that doctors had to rebuild her ribs.
Emma Cranston, 37, from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was regularly subjected to violence at the hands of her boyfriend George Arathoon.
Only when she was lying on her deathbed, following a horrific attack, did she summon the courage to report him to the police.
Emma told Fabulous Digital: “For years, I was under his spell. I never had the courage to stand up to him.
"It was only when I was in hospital, on my death bed, that I realised I had to get away."
Emma, who has two teenage children, met Arathoon 10 years ago when he moved into her street.
She said: “George was 10 years younger than me so I didn’t see him in a romantic way. I had two children and I was going through a divorce.
“But George was really mature; we became pals and it went from there. He was very charming and funny and I felt I could tell him anything.”
They began dating eight years ago and in 2013 they moved in together. But the relationship quickly became "volatile and violent".
I began to think I couldn’t live without him
Emma, explained: “George and I were so close and I really relied on him, I felt that I needed him, and I think he took advantage.
“One night, we’d been out with friends, and George was drunk and he hit me. I threw him out – but he apologised so much that I eventually gave in.
“He was lovely for a while, really caring and charming, but then it happened again.
“He managed to convince me it was my fault because I had fought back – he told me I was as bad as him. I started to think it was wrong to stand up for myself.
“He managed to worm his way back in and he had some sort of hold over me. I began to think I couldn’t live without him."
We had a big row and he grabbed the lasagne and threw it over me. It stuck to my skin and it felt as though my face was melting
"He used to criticise my family off so I wouldn't even go and see them – and I started to believe his lies about them.
“I didn’t see my friends. I didn’t go anywhere without George.
“I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up or false tan or dress up nicely, and in the end, I just gave up. I suppose the fight just went out of me. It was easier to do as I was told.
“I had a good job in a call centre but he made me leave because there were other men there.
“We were stuck in a pattern of him being nice for a few weeks, then he would lose his temper, I would throw him out, but always took him back.
“I felt like I was stuck on the end of an elastic band, pinging back and forth. My self-confidence was completely shattered. I was living in a constant state of fear.”
In 2016, the couple argued whilst Emma was cooking dinner, and George threw a boiling lasagne all over her – scalding her face.
Emma said: “I had just cooked a big lasagne – his favourite – and George told me he had been unfaithful.
"We had a big row and he grabbed the lasagne and threw it over me. It stuck to my skin and it felt as though my face was melting.”
In December 2017, he attacked her and broke several ribs.
In February 2018, George launched an attack which almost killed her.
Emma said: “I went out for a drink with a female friend and so of course George insisted on coming along. I was driving so not drinking.
“In the pub, he got into a row with another bloke, so we all had to leave.
I fell to the ground and as I got up onto all fours he kicked me hard in the side
“I could sense George was about to blow. I turned the music up loud in the car – but he just flipped, screaming at me to turn it down."
She added: “He punched the windscreen and it started to shatter and so I stopped the car and told him to get out. I drove to a friend’s but later, when I went out to my car, George attacked me from behind and pulled me by my hair.
“I fell to the ground and as I got up onto all fours he kicked me hard in the side. I lost consciousness and when I came around, he was stamping on my chest and face.
“I found the strength to scramble back indoors, trying to get away from him. But he caught me again and threw me into the bedroom.
"He had me in there for three hours but I was barely conscious. He took my phone away. I could barely breathe.
“He kept telling me to stop making pain noises or he would kick me again.”
Emma’s friend, Leanne, had witnessed some of the violence and called police. Emma’s injuries were so severe that she was air-lifted to hospital.
She suffered multiple broken ribs, and a punctured lung which resulted in blood collecting in between her chest wall and her lung.
Doctors also found old healing fractures from earlier attacks. They told Emma she was at risk of a heart attack and was lucky to be alive.
She needed surgery to fit metal plates and pins into her back and ribs. She had three ribs completely rebuilt.
But despite her ordeal, Emma admits she still had reservations about speaking to the police.
On Valentine’s Day last year, she finally plucked up courage to seek justice.
She said: “I told them everything – it all spilled out. It was such a huge relief to finally tell someone. I felt like Valentine’s Day was the day I finally learned to love myself.”
Following a trial last July, George Arathoon, 27, was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, inflicting grievous bodily harm and intimidation. He was jailed for five years at Chester Crown Court.
Where can you get help?
You don't have to suffer in silence.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or someone you know is there are groups that can help.
Refuge runs a free, 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247
Or visit the website.
Or contact Women’s Aid.
A restraining order was also put in place to stop him from contacting Emma or her family.
Emma hopes that by sharing her story she can educate people on the signs of abuse. She has set up a Facebook page to support other survivors and already has 20,000 followers across 48 countries.
She says: "I have horrific scars and I will always carry that attack around with me. I am in so much pain. When I scratch my chest, I can feel it in my back, because of the metal plates.
“I don't want other women staying until that breaking point where you nearly die. It’s hard to get out. But you can do it.”
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