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Trigger warning: This article discusses domestic abuse and contains content that some readers may find distressing.
Teen Mom UK star Mia Boardman has urged victims of domestic abuse to seek help, explaining that she herself 'didn't recognise' the early warning signs.
Mia, 25, feared she would die after she was brutally attacked by her ex-partner in June last year.
Now, Mia has teamed up with MTV on a new documentary, Domestic Violence & Me: Mia’s Story, which sees the mum-of-one open up about her experience of domestic abuse, and meet with other survivors.
You can watch the trailer for the documentary below:
Speaking to Tyla ahead of the show airing, Mia has urged survivors to seek help if they felt they were victims of physical or mental abuse, pinpointing domestic abuse charities as an invaluable source of support.
"The biggest step is recognising the abuse, I didn’t recognise it for a long time, but what I will say is ignoring those signs... it does get worse, it doesn’t get better," she says, explaining her ex controlled what she wore, who she spoke to and where she went.
"Whether the abuse is emotional or physical, it's not a random person that's hurt you - there's an emotional tie there as well. So a high percentage of people will drop the charges or not be able to go through with the court case.
"I know how scary it can be going to the police, but what I would say is that there are so many charities that can help. I’ve realised how many helplines there are that will sit and speak to you."
Mia split up from her ex-partner in February last year, but a few months later in June, the pair met up. At trial, the court heard how, after meeting, he had questioned Mia about a man she had dated, before "[putting] his hands around her throat and [squeezing] so she was unable to breathe."
Mia was left with severe bruising and imprinting after the attack.
In the documentary, Mia meets a number of women who have also suffered from domestic abuse, including the family of Gemma, who tragically took her own life after her experience of abuse.
"It helped to speak to other women, when I met with these women, you sit and think, 'that’s what he did to me, I'm not crazy’," she says.
"You can be left feeling crazy for a long time, because I know in a lot of people’s situations, the [abuser will] say or do something but it will always be flipped back on you.
"The bit that touched me the most was when I met Kirsty, Gemma’s sister. I saw firsthand the devastating effect abuse can have on a family. She’s gone now. I think about that every day."
In the documentary, Mia also sits down with a therapist for the first time - something she describes as being a huge help in her recovery.
"I completely pushed therapy out of my mind," she says. "I deal with things by pretending they're not there.
"[The therapist] said this one thing to me which sticks with me: ‘You can put all your feelings behind one door but eventually that door is going to bust open.'
"I think about that every day. People say everyone should go to therapy even if you haven’t been through anything, but now I understand. Even the way I was acting in day to day life, I couldn’t handle certain situations, I'd get angry for no reason, I’d get upset for no reason and that all comes down to not understanding why I was feeling that way."
Mia first opened up about her experience on her YouTube channel, and afterwards she was inundated with an 'overwhelming' number of messages from young women.
"I had hundreds of messages from women asking for advice, and I was completely overwhelmed, I wasn’t sure how to help them or where to direct them," she says. "So when we started talking about the documentary, I thought it’s going to be a journey for me as well, to learn what to say and understand more and be able to share that with people."
Now, Mia says she's in a much better place, and has "more good days than bad".
"I think I was waiting for this moment where I forgot about it, but I realised you don't ever forget, it just doesn't hurt the same anymore," she reflects.
Mia's ex-partner was jailed for 12 months in March. She no longer says his name and doesn't know when he will be released.
"It affected me more before he went to prison than now he’s gone to prison," she says. "I find comfort in knowing I have an indefinite restraining order."
Watch Domestic Violence & Me: Mia’s Story on Wednesday at 9pm on MTV.
If you need information, help or support, you can contact Refuge here.
Featured Image Credit: MTV
Topics: TV And Film
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