Broadcaster Charlie Webster has bravely opened up about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepdad.
She said: “The control and abuse was so bad I felt suicidal as a kid and as an adult.”
She has also endured flashbacks of the trauma she went through, telling the tabloid that her every day was about making it through to the next one.
Reflecting that she is only now coming to terms with the horrors she experienced, former Sky Sports News presenter Charlie also noted how she previously wouldn’t have been able to speak about what happened because of the influence her stepdad exerted over her.
View this post on Instagram
Really special evening with the #TEDxNHS speakers and team. Feel very honoured to be part of this community. Storytelling is so powerful, it’s how we learn about others and ourselves, create understanding and connection and helps us all to not accept but to strive to make things better. #tedx *my talk link is in my bio*
Detailing how the abuse began when she was just seven and both she and her mum were the target of taunts suggesting they were ‘stupid’, ‘thick’ and ‘ugly’, Charlie explained how they were soon subjected to violence.
Charlie was left bruised by the horrendous assaults, which included her being being punched and beaten to the floor while her abuser was drunk.
Anything would make him angry, even the sound of me eating.
The BBC Radio 5 Live figure was also left feeling constantly nervous that another attack could come at any time – even though her vile stepdad threatened to kill her mum and take his own life if her mum ever left him.
But now Charlie hopes to help other survivors of domestic abuse to talk about their experiences, examining beliefs about it on her Undiscussable podcast.
She continued to explain to the publication: “Home is supposed to be your safe, loving space. As soon as I walked in the door from school I wouldn’t know where to put my feet in case I made a noise.
“I would chew quietly and make sure my teeth wouldn’t touch my knife and fork, not making any noise, trying to keep the peace to protect my mum.
“Anything would make him angry, even the sound of me eating. Hearing that, he would smash the table with his fists near your face. I was constantly on edge.”
Charlie believes growing up with such a low sense of worth has affected her relationships as an adult and resulted in a long battle with depression.
She also says the trauma means she has pushed herself to compete in marathons and Iron person challenges to prove to herself she is ‘good enough’.
Furthermore, she says the terrible situation at home was a factor in being sexually abused by a sports coach as a teenager, adding it was ‘easy’ for predators to have power over her.
Charlie hopes she can help change attitudes with her work, which includes TED talks and charity work for Women’s Aid – and is desperate for politicians to listen to her as she believes domestic abuse is a “root cause” of social problems such as knife crime, substance abuse, mental health problems, homelessness and suicide.
ED! has approached a rep for Charlie for further comment.
If you are or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or suicidal thoughts, call the Samaritans on 116 123.
Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.