A mother who says she was attacked by her ex-husband while their baby daughter was in her arms is campaigning for justice for children.

Miss X, from Harlow, said she married her ex-husband in 2017 and then found out she was pregnant later that year.

She said, before getting married they were together for three years and said their relationship seemed healthy until he became controlling and abusive while she was pregnant.

And as she was recovering after a C-section she claims he threatened to "smash" her in the face and said these threats would occur often.

Miss X believes her husband was coercively controlling and inflicted emotional and verbal abuse by calling her names. During his "dark moods" she felt she was "walking on eggshells".

She added: "With abusive relationships, it's not always the violence that entraps women in that situation. It's all the other types of abuse surrounding it.

"He would say 'you don't have a clue. I have to go to work and you just stay at home' - but I had just had a baby and I wasn't supposed to be working.

"It is an attempt to silence you, put you down and stop you from leaving."

Miss X described how her husband would "smash holes in doors" and that the threats of violence became hard to live with. She said there were occasions when she tried to call the police, but he would respond by "mocking her".

This continued for three months until one night she said he came home drunk and was playing loud music and shouting. She said she asked him to be quiet as their daughter was sleeping, which is when he became aggressive.

He called her names before putting her against the wall and "smashing" his phone into her face. When she broke free, he kicked her in the back.

She said she threatened to call the police but instead then called the police on himself and was arrested.

Following the arrest, the couple separated but her ex-husband was still allowed child contact. Miss X said this allowed him to continue his "aggressive and rude" behaviour.

She said the outbursts were on and off, but always in front of their daughter, until she was assaulted again.

She said: "This time the assault was while while I was holding my daughter. He then on a few occasions threatened to kill me and said he would stab me and gut me like a fish if I ever met anybody else or moved on."

Miss X called the police but said it took three weeks for him to be arrested as he went missing. Following the second arrest she decided to cut off child contact.

She said after the contact stopped her ex-husband then took her to family court over child arrangements. Miss X said she was left shocked by how the system worked.

At the start of the case, she did not qualify for legal aid due to having insufficient evidence of domestic abuse and did not receive legal representation.

She added: "A lot of women are going to family court with no proper legal representation and even when they have it it's not adequate.

"I was very naïve - I honestly believed justice would have been done and unfortunately it wasn't."

She claimed the experience was "terrible", and when she reached out to women’s charities, she found hers was not an isolated case.

She added: "I found this was the norm within family court and there has been a lot of wrongdoings where victims are forced to carry out their own cross examination of perpetrators and there are no safe measures in place."

She is now working with the campaign called #justiceforcfchildren which is fighting for the justice of children who have been stripped of safe guardianship because of the court system.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said victims of domestic abuse are eligible for legal aid, but it is subject to means and merits test.

They added: "We have already changed the application process so that a wider range of evidence is now accepted and are reviewing the means test.

"The government’s Domestic Abuse Bill will also transform the response to this horrific crime to better protect victims and their children, while bringing offenders to justice."