Warning: Graphic Images
A little girl has saved her mother from domestic abuse after bravely telling her teacher about it, setting off initial alarm bells among authorities.
Back in October 2017, the unnamed six-year-old from Doncaster, South Yorkshire told her class teacher ‘daddy’s hurting mummy, she says she loves him but he keeps hurting her’.
Her mother, 36-year-old Jodie Keegans, now credits her daughter with helping her escape abuse at the hands of her husband, claiming she saved her life.
Husband, 34-year-old Scott Keegans, had subjected Jodie to possessive behaviour and domestic abuse for three years.
Scott had not been violent for the first ten years of their relationship. However, the abuse Jodie endured during the final three years was so horrifying, the stay-at-home mum believed – on several occasions – her husband would go so far as to murder her.
Jodie was bitten, punched and stamped on by Scott, suffering broken bones and fractures. On one terrifying occasion, he tore away her ear and refused to allow her to get hospital treatment. Jodie had to then glue her injured ear back together using semi-permanent eyelash glue.
The nightmare finally ended in December 2017 after he beat Jodie with a rolling pin for two hours, leaving 95 per cent of her body bruised.
Scott was not supposed to be living at the family home at the time of the attack. Two days afterwards, the police stopped by after he failed to attend mandatory social care organised council sessions.
The police arrived at the address on December 23, leading to Scott fleeing from the back door.
It was at this point, Jodie took what she believed was her ‘only chance’:
As soon as I saw them I knew this might be my only chance and I made sure all of the windows and doors were locked and that he was actually gone.
Then I did something I’d never done before, showed the two police officers my injuries and simply said, ‘I think I’m a victim of domestic abuse’.
I guess that was the first time I had actually admitted what was happening to me and that I needed help.
Scott was arrested later the same day, much to Jodie’s relief, with the domestic abuse survivor and her children taken to a safe place.
After being treated at a local hospital, a full-body scan revealed the terrifying extent of Jodie’s injuries.
These included a broken shoulder, old and new rib fractures, spinal fractures, bite marks and ripped out hair. Doctors also advised Jodie how she was at risk of suffering lung and organ failure.
Speaking about her daughter’s help, Jodie said:
My daughter is my superhero for being brave enough to tell her school what was happening, which is when support services first became involved.
She really did save my life.
Resilient Jodie is now dedicating herself to helping others who’ve experienced domestic abuse, even establishing her own support group:
I want to empower women, and men, to come forward. To anyone who has been a victim of domestic abuse, the help is there and it’s amazing, you just need to take that first step and reach out.
You just don’t talk about it, you keep it silent, you keep it a secret, but there needs to be a spotlight shone on it to increase awareness.
Scott Keegans has now been sentenced to 18 years in prison, after being found guilty of six counts of assault, sexual assault by penetration and rape.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Do not suffer in silence.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.