Glenda Jackson recounts a love life characterised by violence

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GLENDA JACKSON, the actress turned candidate for London mayor, has spoken of her experiences at the hands of violent men.

"I don't think I have ever been in a relationship with a man in which he hasn't raised his fists to me," she will say in an interview published today.

"I just think it's an infinitely more usual situation than people ever acknowledge. I don't mean I was mercilessly beaten ... but I do think it's something men have a tendency to do," she told New Statesman magazine.

Her comments coincide with the international day against violence towards women, organised by Womankind Worldwide, which is putting on a series of events to raise the profile of the problem.

"It's a very shocking experience - that intrusion - and I'm sure it's far more common for women than is ever voiced," added Ms Jackson. "You can also punch back - which I invariably did, of course."

Her fellow actress Amanda Redman spoke yesterday of her experiences of domestic violence in two relationships. One brutal partner tried to strangle her twice and shoved and kicked her on a daily basis, she said. One relationship left her with a split lip, a black eye and all her front teeth smashed.

Miss Redman, star of the recent TV portrayal of Diana Dors's life, said: "I haven't spoken out before because I don't look like someone who would be associated with domestic violence ... I don't seem like the type, do I?"

She said she had changed her mind because she had a young daughter and wanted young people to be aware of the issue. She recorded her comments in a film, which was shown to a conference in central London yesterday.

Miss Redman described how her violent partner beat her judiciously to avoid damaging a face that was rapidly becoming famous.

"He was icy cold when he did it," she said. "Every day I would hear the key in the lock and be frightened, thinking, `What have I done today?' "

Miss Redman, who is currently filming with Lenny Henry for the drama Hope and Glory, spoke out after revelations in the press and on television by Sheryl Gascoigne, former wife of the football player Paul, about the violence she suffered during their relationship. Gascoigne later took out a High Court order to restrict what the media can publish or broadcast about the couple.

Yesterday was also dubbed white ribbon day, with supporters wearing the ribbons to draw further attention to the issue of violence in the home.

The conference heard how, of all violent crimes, domestic violence was the least likely to be reported. Delegates called for the building of more refuges for women to escape violence at home.

One woman is killed every three days by a violent partner or ex-partner, and one in four suffers domestic violence at some point in their life.

Domestic abuse accounts for a quarter of all crimes, figures from the Home Office indicate.

Deborah Orr, Review, page 5