Trigger warning: Contains details of abuse which may be distressing to some readers.
Nicola Frost, a mother of five, never thought that the man who once treated her like a princess would be the same man who would hurt her, abuse her, and do all that he could to make sure she cut ties with other people in her life. For six years, she stayed in a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Aaron James Wharton, who even forced her to get nine tattoos of his name or his initials so that she could be treated like his “property.”
As Nicola talked about the beginning of their relationship, she said, “The first year was perfect. He treated me like a princess,” Nicole said, as quoted by Daily Star. “But the next five years were a living hell. He just changed. I don’t know what it was. I think he waited for me to get comfortable and knew I wasn’t going anywhere. There was emotional abuse – all types of abuse.”
With time, as Nicola let her guard down and gotten closer to Aaron, he started controlling everything in her life and dictating things like what she should look like and where she could go.
“If I’d done my hair and makeup he would call me a slag,” she recalled. “All the years I was with him he cut me off from my family and friends. If I called them I’d have to delete the call log on my phone or he’d knock the phone out of my hands and smash it. He was living around the corner and could see my house from his. He would try to stop me from having friends round. He could control everything – where I went and who I would speak to… He would take my bank card off me. He was a 100 percent narcissist.”
Although Aaron started showing signs of an abusive partner, Nicola stayed trapped in the relationship because she thought she was alone. Aaron made her believe that nobody else would help and that “nobody else would touch her” because she was his “property.”
According to the Daily Mail, Nicole revealed, “He made me get tattoos of his name on me. One was just above my bum and said: ”Property of AJ Wharton.’ Why would someone have a person’s name on them nine times? It’s crazy. But if I didn’t do it there would be repercussions.” If Nicola refused to get the tattoos of his name across her body, he would turn aggressive and even violent.
Apart from controlling her to the point of suffocation, Aaron would even physically hurt Nicola during the course of their relationship. “…He would hit me multiple times and stepped on my face quite regularly… He gave me a black eye and split lip a few times, but I was too scared to tell anyone and he knew I didn’t have anyone else.”
After being a mother to two of his children and suffering years of abuse, Nicola broke up with him in 2018 but he still physically attacked her in February 2019.
In August 2020, the cruel boyfriend was finally found guilty and given a sentence of spending 21 months behind bars. A 10-year restraining order, prohibiting him far contacting Nicola, was also given to him.
Calling him a “predator,” Nicola said, “He thought I would never dare go against him in court but I stood up and gave evidence. However, the sentence for this is disgusting. No amount of time can repay what he has done to me and my kids. Knowing he is going to get out in a year means it is not long enough. People like him don’t change.”
The 32-year-old mother knows that it is going to take her a while to recover from what she experienced during those six brutal years. “The effect on me has been long-standing. Sometimes I don’t even trust my own family and I shudder when someone raises a hand,” she admitted. “I am now un-training myself from what he trained me to be, mainly not having to ask permission to do anything. But now I can understand myself better and get on with my life because he’s in prison.”
She is also in the process of getting her tattoos covered up because she doesn’t “need the constant reminder of him.” But she added that they do cost a lot of money. So far, she has had four of them covered up.
By sharing her story, the brave mother hopes that others would read her story and not ignore the signs of abuse. “There are so many people in abusive relationships who can’t speak out,” Nicola said. “…People need to know the signs and see it as abuse and to not doubt themselves, follow through and get out. I would love to campaign on this and raise awareness for women and men all over the world in abusive relationships. I’d like to see increased funding for domestic abuse victims… It’d be great if I can help one person, but I’d like to help multiple people.”