A STALKING victim says she lives her life in fear after escaping from an abusive relationship.

Dina, 50, from Brighton, was divorced in 2017 and described how her stalker turned “venomous” after his conviction for a domestic violence attack.

She described being strangled and on one occasion was stabbed in the arm with keys.

“That was when the penny dropped, he could kill me,” she said.

Dina, whose full name The Argus has agreed not to reveal, spoke about how she is now a “high risk” victim of stalking.

Her story was revealed as Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne awarded £150,000 funding for the charity Veritas Justice to help 300 stalking victims in the next year.

Dina said her ex-husband was convicted of assault and was put under a restraining order not to contact her directly or indirectly in 2013.

She said: “He is still trying to control in any way he can.

“He takes any chance to stop me having a normal life.

“There are certain places that I don’t go because have a fear of him being there.

“He was driving up and down the road. turning up at certain events he knew I was going to, contacting my friends and family. Doing anything he could to get a reaction.

“I have had to explain the situation to my friends.

“It has affected my family life and professional life.”

Dina approached the charity Rise, which supports domestic violence victims and now has support from Veritas Justice.

When she first left her home, she had to call on friends to help her,

then initially returned to the family home, where she admits she spent a year living in fear.

She said: “There was a time he strangled me and threw me across the room.

“I remember, it was when the penny dropped, that he could kill me.

“He stabbed me in the arm with keys.

“I have memories, picturing him with his hands on my throat, so I’ve needed counselling.”

Veritas Justice helps those at risk of stalking by coming up with plans to track perpetrators’ behaviour and inform the police.

Co-founder Claudia Ortiz said that when she set up the charity in 2014 she thought she would help up to 40 people in the first year, but was inundated with more than 400 people.

She said: “I was very surprised, I don’t think any of us were ready for what was to come.

“The new funding will allow us to support victims across Sussex.”

She said in some cases victims have been unable to take their children to the park or go to work, and feel forced

to “make themselves invisible”.

Stalkers have made threats including petrol bombing victim’s homes, but the

charity can help get protection such as fireproof letterboxes.

Veritas Justice also has a team to tackle online abuse and stalkers and improve victim’s security on the internet and social media.

PCC Katy Bourne said police officers are being trained to spot signs of stalking, and said victims should look out the telltale signs.

These include behaviour which is fixated, obsessive, unwanted, and repeated.

For anyone affected by stalking, Dina said: “My advice to others in this position is to reach out.

“People are scared, but reach out and get help.

“There is no shame on you, and lots of people do feel shame, but it’s the perpetrator’s shame.

“Understanding that makes it easier to get help.”

Visit veritas-justice.co.uk for more information.