After two years of horrific abuse, Samantha Miller, 35, has decided to share her story with Mirror to shed light on the issue of domestic violence.
Miller, who lives in the United Kingdom, became involved with Sean Johnstone in 2006. For a few months, things were happy, but their relationship quickly took a violent turn. “I can’t remember how many times I was raped by him,” she said. “Every day, in the end, I was being abused. It was continuous, day and night. I was walking on egg shells constantly.”
Eventually, Johnstone raped Miller while live-streaming it on the Internet. "The laptop was on in front of me, and he said people were watching, that it was connected to a seedy chat room,” she said. "I was pregnant at the time. He punched me in the stomach, then he raped me. I was too scared to go to sleep at night."
Johnstone then threatened to kill her if she didn’t have sex with his pet Rottweiler on camera.
Miller managed to escape just before Christmas in 2008, taking her 6-month-old daughter with her. Miller’s daughter is brain damaged due to the injuries she suffered in the womb.
After spending 18 months in women’s shelters, Miller was told by police officers that there was insufficient evidence to charge Johnstone. It wasn’t until another victim of his abuse came forward and corroborated her story that he was charged for his crimes.
Johnstone was convicted on 27 counts of rape, indecent assault, possession of child pornography and extreme pornography that featured animals. He was ultimately sentenced to 17-and-a-half years in prison.
“When they read out the first guilty verdict, I started shaking" Miller said. "When they got to count 27, I burst into tears."
Miller said her life has been permanently altered by Johnstone’s actions. She suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has turned to self-harm to deal with the trauma. "If someone says, 'I'm sure I recognize you from somewhere,' I think, 'Have they seen me being raped? Is that where they recognize me from?'" Miller said. "I'm constantly paranoid.”
She plans to move with her daughter and change their names before Johnstone is released from prison.