A man who was physically and mentally abused over a three-year period by his ex-girlfriend said he “would have died” if police hadn’t found him.
Alex Skeel, 22, recently shared his story of domestic violence in a BBC documentary Abused By My Girlfriend, where he described the horrific details of the abuse he endured at the hands of Jordan Worth, the mother of his two children.
On Thursday, Skeel, from Bedfordshire, appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the pervasiveness of domestic abuse, as well as the reasons victims find it difficult to leave, and warning signs people can look out for.
According to Skeel, who said he received many offers to tell his story after his ordeal went public, he decided to share because he “knows that there is a lot of people out there suffering how I did and I didn’t want one more person to suffer even a percent of how I felt”.
The 22-year-old father also explained that despite suffering abuse nearly the entire relationship, he “never really thought about leaving” because he was thinking about his children’s safety.
“It was survival mode,” Skeel told the hosts. “I was genuinely just waiting to die.
“I kept hoping one less hit on the head or one less stab or I didn’t get boiling water because if that was the case, it would be a far better day than the day before.”
Skeel also recalled the warning signs in his relationship, which started early on – such as when Worth would disappear when the pair was away on holiday before reappearing “laughing in the reception area”.
From there, Worth’s behaviour gradually grew more controlling and abusive.
“It escalated and escalated,” Skeel said.
Skeel was eventually rescued in June 2017 when officers from Bedfordshire responded to a call from a concerned neighbour who’d overheard screaming.
According to Skeel, the police intervention saved his life.
When asked what would have happened to him if police hadn’t come, Skeel said: “I would have died.
“I’ve worked it out, a thousand times I was hit on the head and I never had a fracture on my skull but what if one of them gave me brain damage or a stab on my wrist was a little bit to the left and hit the main artery. Anything could have happened but I wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for them.”
Disturbingly, Skeel’s experience is not unique.
According to Mark Brooks of the Mankind Initiative, who appeared on GMB alongside Skeel, domestic violence is “far more common than we think” and “one man in every six will suffer domestic abuse”.
Men also make up “one in three of all victims,” Brooks said.
As for what can be done to help victims in domestic abuse situations, Brooks said friends and family need to be aware of red flags – such as complete isolation of their loved one, changes in behaviour, and changes in physical demeanor.
When police found Skeel, he had burns from having scalding water poured on him, knife wounds from a bread knife, and various other injuries from being hit repeatedly by things such as hammers and hairbrushes by Worth.
In April 2018, Worth was convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour and grievous bodily harm and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.