A domestic abuse survivor has urged victims to seek “advice and support” from others and hopes people will learn from her experience.

Caren Duhig, from Harrow, attended a Metropolitan Police seminar on domestic violence at New Scotland Yard last week where she spoke of the abuse she suffered in a previous relationship.

She delivered her ‘Letter to My Younger Self’, in which she detailed an incident which left her hospitalised and requiring life-changing surgery.

In her speech – a retrospective look at when she was 20 – she advised those in similarly abusive relationships to “get out as soon as you can”.

“Seek advice, seek support, confide in someone,” she said.

“You don’t deserve to be hurt, you don’t deserve to be hit, you don’t deserve to be bullied, abused, made to think you’re nothing.

“It’s not your fault – there’s something wrong with the person abusing you.

“I was lucky to survive something so traumatic. I want to use my experience, my scars, and my unanswered questions, to help anyone who has been in, or is in, a relationship that involves domestic violence.”

Ms Duhig, who now runs the online community group #Fixit Harrow, has called for similar seminars in the future, noting that they can “safeguard sufferers and empower survivors of domestic abuse”.

This event involved speakers from various charities and an address by Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Williams, the Met’s lead responsible officer for domestic abuse, stalking and harassment.

The police offer information on dealing with domestic abuse, including how to report it – visit a local police station or call 101 for general advice, and use 999 in an emergency.

Harrow Council also has support measures to help those in the borough who are suffering from domestic violence.

Last year, then-leader of the council Cllr Sachin Shah described it as a “scourge on society” that must be “stamped out”.

He suggested regular meetings with leading anti-domestic violence figures in the borough as a way of plugging any holes.

The council’s website also devotes a section to dealing with domestic abuse, including advice and information about how to seek help.

There is a list of contact details for various services across the borough, including refuge centres and the option to download a ‘Survivor Handbook’ in various languages.