A woman who was beaten, strangled and shot by her abusive husband has become an incredible source of inspiration for other domestic violence victims following the brave revelations of her horrific story.
Rachel Williams, 44, has appeared on British TV to recall how she nearly lost her life when Darren, her husband of 18 years, shot, kicked and beat her in the hair salon where she worked before then killing himself in the woods near their family home.
Miraculously, Rachel survived the attempt on her life, and two years on, is telling her harrowing story in the hope of encouraging other domestic violence victims to leave their abusive partners.
Describing herself as “a victor, not a victim”, Williams also shared a letter her former employer wrote for her case, which highlights the domineering, controlling life she was forced to lead under his control.
“Rachel was not allowed to work with heterosexual males, she was also not allowed to cut the hair of men or lesbians. Darren's demeanour was intimidating and we were all afraid of him,” the letter reads.
Rachel, who has since remarried, wrote alongside the letter: "If there are any employers out there or work colleagues please be observant of your fellow staff members.
"If you feel powerless and feel there is nothing you can do, when you think someone is being abused then please please just ask your local police force...Just raise your concerns please."
While he was a loving father, Darren’s violent tendencies escalated as their marriage went on, culminating in an attack in which he tried to strangle her in front of their two sons, Josh, now 20, and Jack.
While she fled to live with her mother, he tracked her down at her place the hairdressing salon where she worked in South Wales, and shot at her with a sawn-off shot gun, reports The Daily Mail.
Despite surviving the shooting, Rachel then tragically had to endure the trauma of losing her teenage son Jack, who took his own life six weeks after his father’s death.
Rachel admits she will never get over his death, but says that "it reminds me that you only get one life and you have to live it to the full,” she said. 'If I don't do that, I might as well have let Darren kill me in the shop and not fought to save my life.”