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ITV’ weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth teams up with police to tackle domestic abuse

Weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has spoken out to encourage people to report domestic violence and abuse.

Earlier this year, ITV Wales presenter Ruth Dodsworth’s ex-husband was sentenced to three years in jail for coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking.

Jonathan Wignall, 54, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court and was handed a restraining order against contacting Ms Dodsworth.

To mark National Safeguarding Week, Ruth called on everyone to report domestic abuse.

She said: “I realised that he was quite volatile very early on, but the relationship is new, you forgive certain things, you think ‘oh it’s okay it will blow over’.

“I became more and more isolated from friends and family, but that in a weird way that made it harder because he very much became the centre of my world, he was all I had in a sense.

“I know categorically if I’d stayed, I’d be dead now, and so asking for help saved my life.”

Dodsworth ‘one of the lucky ones’

Earlier this week, The ITV presenter appeared on ITV’s Lorraine to discuss learning to love life again after finding love following years of a “living hell” with her abusive ex-husband.

She said: “At the start of the relationship, the attention was quite flattering, but then years down the line you realise you haven’t seen your friends, your family, life is very, very different.

“I am a relatively intelligent person, and I didn’t really see it until nearly 20 years later when my ex-husband was arrested.

Penarth Times: Undated handout file photo issued by South Wales Police of Jonathan Wignall. (PA)Undated handout file photo issued by South Wales Police of Jonathan Wignall. (PA)

“It took the police telling me and showing me that signs, that I realised he ticked all the boxes. Hindsight is an amazing thing, but it happened almost by stealth.

“My self-esteem was at rock bottom for a long, long time at home. I used to cry going into work, cry in the dressing room but then switched into work mode, and then cry on the way home knowing I was going home to it, but I did it because I had to.

“I became a possession, and it was dehumanising and degrading. Even in court there was no remorse, no understanding.”

National Safeguarding Week

Detective Chief Inspector Eve Davis, force lead for domestic abuse and violence, said “Domestic abuse and violence is a priority for South Wales Police. It can affect anyone and not only has devastating impacts upon those suffering the abuse directly but affects others such as children, extended family members, friends and the community also.

“I would encourage any victim or survivor of abuse to make that call for help, additionally if you are concerned about someone you know you can also make a call on their behalf.

“South Wales Police works with a number of a number of partner agencies to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence, and if there are people that don’t wish to make a report directly to the police then please consider making contact with Live Fear Free.”

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