A WOMAN has told how she was shot at point-blank range by her monstrous estranged husband – before her son killed himself six weeks later.
Brave Rachel Williams, 48, was attacked by partner Darren Williams ten years ago.
She was smashed in the head with a sawn-off shotgun at a hair salon in Newport, South Wales, and shot twice in the leg.
Her abusive husband was later found hanged in a woodland after the brutal abuse.
But for Rachel, the biggest tragedy was losing her son Jack, 16, who took his own life just six weeks later.
She said: "That's the biggest impact for me.
"That will always outweigh any injuries physically or mentally for me.
"Nobody expects that when you leave an abusive partner your child's going to commit suicide because of it."
CAMPAIGN FOR GUN CONTROL
Rachel has now set up a petition for firearms weapons to be kept at gun clubs and not at home – and has over 1,500 signatures.
It comes after Jake Davison, 22 shot and killed five people in Plymouth on August 12. He was licensed to own a gun for clay pigeon shooting.
Rachel said: "My left leg was blasted at point-blank range, most of my shin was gone, I'd lost my knee, all they salvaged was my kneecap.
"When you've been shot like I have myself and you know your life can be taken away within a second – I can't get my head around why somebody needs a gun.
"Police officers, trained marksmen, they don't take their guns home with them, they've got to sign these guns in and out.
"Why is somebody else allowed to have a gun in the home, what do they need it for?"
The petition also calls for anyone with a history of domestic abuse, mental health issues or drug or alcohol misuse to be banned from having a licence.
She says exemptions could include farmers and shooting sports professionals.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, based in Wrexham, North Wales, has also called for change.
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
It says there should be a statutory obligation on GPs to put a marker on gun applicants' medical notes.
A BASC spokesman said: "Their participation in the process is wholly voluntary, and many GPs refuse to participate.
"Since the introduction of medical verification in 2016 the system has been in disarray."
The Home Office said licences are kept under "constant review" by police and can be revoked.
It added: "We are determined to tackle the heinous crime of domestic abuse, and earlier this year achieved a historic milestone when we passed the Domestic Abuse Act – and will be publishing our Domestic Abuse Strategy later this year to transform the whole of society's response to this crime."
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 6pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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