On a chilly night in December of 2013, Sophie Lazell, 26, was falling asleep.
“I was just nodding off when I heard a crashing noise,” she told the Mirror.
She then heard her boyfriend, Daniel Jones, demanding to know where she was. Lazell had spent the day with Jones, but he had grown angry when she said she wanted to spend the night alone.
“I got up and found Daniel wielding a metal bar. He had smashed the TV. He said, ‘Come with me.'
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“Then my mum appeared, and my kids came out of their room.”
Terrified, Lazell offered to run away with Jones. He grabbed her by the hair and dragged her to his car as she assured her children everything would be okay.
Jones drove Lazell to an abandoned quarry in Hampshire, United Kingdom, and demanded she take her pajama pants off. He used them to tie her to a tree.“He said, ‘That’s what happens to whores,’ and then forced me to strip completely.”
Before driving away, Jones told Lazell, “There's a hole dug for you.”
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After a time, Lazell made her escape, running through horses’ fields for an hour before finding help.
Lazell escaped with only cuts and bruises, and Jones was arrested four weeks later. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, and in August he was sentenced to 20 months in prison, in addition to a five-year restraining order.
However, the psychological wounds have taken their toll. Lazell has since moved from her home to an undisclosed location in the UK and was deeply anxious after the attack.
“Before, I’d had lots of friends and enjoyed going out on the town,” she said. “After I didn’t know who to trust and was scared to even pop out for a bottle of milk.
“I only left the house at certain times of the day when I thought town would be quiet and I was on the red alert when I did. I suffered anxiety attacks and had nightmares.”
Still, Lazell hopes her experience will encourage other women to leave abusive relationships. Prior to the attack, Jones was never physically abusive, but he was possessive and constantly accused her of cheating on him.
“Walk out on physically violent, emotionally and mentally abusive partners,” she said. "I learned the hard way that you shouldn’t brush things under the carpet.
“Please, get out, before things turn ugly.”