When Sharron Webb was being emotionally abused by her ex-boyfriend she thought this was how her life was going to be forever.

The 47-year-old of Bisterne Avenue, Walthamstow has launched a support group for women suffering at the hands of their partners to empower them to make their own decisions.

Weekly sessions with a counsellor are held at The Women’s Decision Group in Walthamstow and the number of clients is slowly increasing every week.  

Ms Webb wants to give women a safe haven to share their thoughts and access services in the borough after feeling unsupported during her ordeal.

“At the first session the women were a bit nervous but they have loosened up now,” said the mother-of-four.

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Sharron Webb, founder of The Women's Decision Group, with Tunde Rotinwa, chairman, trustees Heather Barrow and Audrey Stephens and volunteer Milda Griffiths.

“They are happy there is somewhere for them to meet others going through the same things.

“It makes me feel really good that I can help these women and I will do everything I can to get them the support they need.

“One of my clients cannot see an end to her abuse and there’s also a survivor in the group who is now stronger and is helping the others in that way.

 “What many people don’t realise is that you can suffer domestic abuse from your son or daughter as well.

“There is one woman being abused by her son and it makes it a particularly difficult situation.”

The Serious Crime Act in 2015 created a new offence of “controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship” to close the gap in the law around psychological abuse that stops short of physical abuse.

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Although Ms Webb reached out to loved ones for help when she was being abused, she believes they didn’t fully grasp her situation which left her feeling isolated.

 “When I spoke to family and friends they didn’t understand; they just said leave him and if you want to stay with him it’s up to you.

 “It was not always a bad time but there was a pattern with the abuse.

“That’s what they do, they say ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again’ and they make you think you’re the problem and you will take them back.

“Domestic violence is still not spoken about as much as it should be and people are living through it in silence.

 “I want to show women that you can turn it around and make it into a positive.”

Ms Webb is working with YMCA, the police, the council and Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter to ensure victims do not fall through the gap.

Twenty years on from leaving her abusing partner, she runs a catering company and recently featured on Channel 5’s Rich House Poor House.

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“I am not telling them what to do, I’m just giving them the confidence to make their own decision,” she said.

“I will be starting IT classes in the New Year to help them learn a new skill and looking for anyone who can teach yoga, meditation or self-defence to these women to volunteer for an hour.

“Eventually what I want to do is open a women’s refuge in Waltham Forest. 

“I am getting calls from women in other boroughs as well and I know this is going on everywhere.

“If people know a woman who may be suffering I would say they should tell her to come along to my group and she will be helped.”

The mother-of-four is determined not to see her daughter Kanesha, 17, go down the same route. 

“I have spoken to Kanesha about being careful and have educated her as much as I can about it all,” she said.

 “I hope she will get her qualifications and perhaps meet someone doing the same kind of thing as her.

“She is focusing on health and social care and wants to be a counsellor to help others maybe because of what she has seen me go through.”

Ms Webb plans to launch a second support group for male victims of domestic violence in the borough next year.

For information about The Women’s Decision Group and to get in touch with Ms Webb click here