Family of 18-year-old Emily Drouet, who took her own life following months of domestic abuse by her boyfriend, have shared a powerful photo the law student took mere days before her death.
The selfie shows the teen red-faced, with smudged mascara. Her mother says Emily sent it to her best friend moments after her partner, Angus Milligan, had strangled her.
Just six months earlier, Emily's family had driven her up to Aberdeen to settle into her new life as a university student. They had met her flatmates, helped her put fairy lights around her bed, and made sure she had enough warm blankets for the cold Scottish city.
Sometime within those months, Emily met Angus - another student who was living in the halls of residence. "Within six months, that man destroyed our daughter and wrecked our lives. He’s just complete evil," her heartbroken mother, Fiona Drouet, says.
"I want to jump inside the picture and cuddle her. I want to tell her that she could have spoken to me, that she could have asked for help. We would have been there for her."
"Our beautiful daughter became a victim of domestic violence at just 18," Fiona said.
"He was threatening her with us, telling her that he’d email us and tell us about the sex and the partying." Those threats, Fiona says, compelled their daughter to end her life.
"Emy was naive, she was innocent. She saw the world through good eyes. She was fun-loving, kind and smart and she never saw how beautiful she was, on the inside or the outside."
Last week, Milligan pleaded guilty in court of assaulting Emily, threatening and abusing her using abusive and offensive language and sending offensive, indecent, obscene and menacing texts.
If you or a loved one is suffering at the hands of a partner, contact 1800 RESPECT.
If you are struggling with mental health, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
This article first published on Marie Claire.