TODAY we salute an Ulverston councillor who has lifted the lid on her experiences of domestic abuse.

Cllr Shirley-Anne Wilson could easily have brushed this harrowing chapter of her life under the carpet.

Yet she recognises that this has been the dilemma victims frequently face - do I speak out or keep quiet?

Remaining silent only benefits the perpetrator. They take strength from knowing that their behaviour will not be exposed. Their victim’s complicity is just another form of control they hold over them.

Now more than ever, the police and its partners are willing to listen, intervene and take tough action.

Support is also out there to help break this cycle of abuse which some, including children, can endure or witness for years - affecting them for many decades into the future.

Women and men must feel comfortable speaking openly about what has happened and finding the strength to report it immediately.

Physically and mentally abusing someone, whether that’s by control or coercion, is not normal behaviour. Healthy, loving relationships do not involve abuse, whatever the excuse.

Women’s Community Matters in Barrow is a good place to start and can be contacted on 01229 311102 or by visiting