A man has been arrested after he beat his wife over an argument as she crouched over their three-day-old baby in the United Kingdom. The mother is now encouraging others to report domestic violence to authorities.
Just three days after giving birth to her daughter, Kerry Armstrong was beaten up by her husband, Gary Peoples, who then continued to assault Armstrong’s 13-year-old daughter, reported BelFastLive.
Armstrong’s older daughter from a previous marriage entered the room as her mother was being hit. Peoples then seized her and pushed her against the wall.
— Belfast (@BelfastCityNews) May 11, 2019
The prosecutor told the judge that Peoples initially prevented Armstrong from leaving the house, but she escaped and drove to her mother’s home. Her brother informed the police about the attack.
The incident happened on Oct. 2, 2017, and Armstrong, a playgroup leader from East Belfast, told BelFastLive that she could never forgive Peoples—she was left with two black eyes, bad swelling, and bruises on other parts of her face, and had to protect her infant daughter with her own body.
40-year-old Peoples admitted to the assault and was jailed for 20 months. Since then, Armstrong has been encouraging victims of domestic violence to report their cases to authorities and said she was grateful that the judiciary system delivered her justice.
“It has been quite a long time since this happened and it has been hard to get to this point,” Armstrong told BelFastLive after the arrest.
Beyond criminal evil guy!Would you let your husband do this to you after days of giving birth?Play group leader Kerry Armstrong, from Belfast, was attacked by her husband at their home just … https://t.co/O9l0roe81H via @MailOnline
— Carol Dijkhuyzen (@Carolbaut) May 11, 2019
“At times I just wanted to give up but I was determined to go through with it on behalf of other women who have suffered and who are still suffering from the effects of domestic violence,” she said.
She thanked Women’s Aid, an organization that works against domestic violence. “Without their help and counseling and without the help of other domestic violence sufferers whom I have met and befriended, I couldn’t have gone through with it,” she said.
The defense barrister said that there was no record of any previous domestic violence between the couple and the violence strained their relationship.
He said that Peoples hasn’t seen his 18-month-old daughter since the incident and that he’s “remorseful” and “ashamed.”
‘There was a very short romance before the marriage. Both parties brought their own children from previous relationships to the table,” the defence barrister said.
“It was the meshing of two families which raised issues about relationships between the respective children and stepchildren,” he said.
He said it was an “out-of-character” incident and Peoples will have to carry its burden for his whole life.
“Tensions were at times running high and the defendant bottled things up. He did not deal with things appropriately and he snapped,” he said.
Judge McCaffrey described the impact of the assault on the mother and the child as “abhorrent.”
“The message must go out that people who commit such crimes will receive condign punishment,” she said.
In fact, the National Domestic Violence Hotline says the time when a person tries to leave their abuser is often the most dangerous for a victim of abushttps://t.co/xdvZJrfVzX
— Make It Our Business (@MakeItOurBiz) May 10, 2019
The Gravity of Domestic Violence
Most of the domestic violence cases go unreported and one in four women experience it during their lifetime, according to New-Hope.org
More women get injured due to domestic violence than collective figures for women getting injured in accidents, rapes, and muggings, according to the organization.
A woman suffers violence every nine seconds in the United States. “Women ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence,” it said.