A MUM-OF-THREE, who fled honour-based domestic violence, held a meet up to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with fellow victims showing up to make the first step in their recovery.

The event, which is internationally known as Chai Day, was held on Monday, November 25 and was organised by Shana Begum and her children who recently won the Pride of St Helens Family of the Year Award.

She said: “The event went well. What touched me was a lady who was doing her house work, picked up the St Helens Star paper that morning, saw the event and just turned up.

“She was nervous and if said she had known about the event earlier and planned it, she would have talked herself out from attending.

Here is what she had to say: ‘Thank for for today, it meant a lot I appreciate it so much. Also if my son grows up to be as inspirational as your daughter at the young age of 16 I’ll be proud. Even though the fear will never leave me, thank you giving me that extra bit of confidence.’”

Shana also shared her own story of fleeing her home and how getting nominated by her daughter for a Pride of St Helens Award, and getting a non molestation order in place, gave her the confidence she needed to “not cower in fear anymore” and help others. Shana’s 16-year-old daughter Iysha also shared her experience, as did representatives from Yes Matters and the Chrysalis centre.

She added: "I told people my story, how I didn’t want to come out at first, I felt really shameful, however after Iysha nominated me and explained she didn’t want to live in fear anymore, that was the turning point, it gave me the strength and courage to tell others about our journey.

"And how having a non molestation order in place helped give me that security I needed.

"I didn’t want a life of cowering and hiding anymore, not for my daughter.

"It was actually liberating not having to hide. It's a horrible feeling, living in fear and I feel very safe in my area and I am glad I don’t live like that anymore.

"We discovered the similarities and differences, it was great to know how others felt like I did, once upon a time.

"Overall it was a day of talking about the difficulties around domestic abuse, the shame, stigma and finding out more information on what help is out there.

"Iysha talked about her version from a young person's perspective and we raised £38.70 for a women's charity."