Eli’s mother, 17, warns of ‘subtle’ signs of domestic violence in adolescent relationships

Carol Gold, Eli’s mother, who was stabbed by her jealous ex-boyfriend when she was just 17, reflects the “subtle” signs that she was trying to control her daughter.

The mother of a teenager who was killed by her abusive ex has warned other parents to keep an eye on their children’s relationships.

Eli Gold, 17, strangled and stabbed her three-month-old boyfriend, Thomas Griffiths, to death in May 2019 after their relationship ended.

Refusing to accept his decision, the villain Griffiths went to Eli’s house during the free period on school days and brutally assaulted him.

After initially grabbing Eli by the throat, he stabbed her 17 times with a kitchen knife. When he finished his work, he washed the knife to get rid of its DNA and stuck the knife under his throat to make it look like suicide.

Three years after Eli’s death, his mother, Carol, wants to tell other parents about the dangers of a controlled relationship that could easily lead to violence.

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“Looking back now, I realize that Griffiths was trying very hard to control Eli,” Carol told the Mirror.

“She always wanted to see him after school – and for the first few weeks it was her first. She was her first boyfriend.”

Since Eli’s death, Carol has sought coercive control over relationships – especially among young people.

Forced control in the UK in 2016 was officially recognized as a form of abuse and crime.

Examples of this include separating a person from their friends and family, taking all their time and observing what they are doing and seeing what they do online.

For students, there is another subtle sign of increased control that Carol Ellie saw in her relationship – classroom sabotage.

This is when an abuser interrupts or hinders their partner’s learning and instead takes them all the time.

“[Griffiths] I kept talking about marriage and kids, which was a lot for a 17-year-old,” Carroll said.

“A week before her exams, Eli said she would not see him after school so she could study. But she kept trying to convince him.”

The mother and activist added that guilt is a common issue in relationships.

“There was an occasion when Eli was chatting with one of his friends. Griffith said, “You have to come to my house. My mother bought food especially for us.”

“It simply came to our notice then.

“My murdered daughter is the epitome of government, but we have not yet received justice.”

Carol specifically mentions a cool incident that happened the day before Eli was killed – and that was the final straw.

He said: “They were playing a candy tossing game in the school common room. Griffiths pulled Eli’s arm and asked him to sit with her instead, but she shrugged.

“Then he wanted to pull his top in front of everyone.”

Realizing this was a disturbing behavior, Eli came home and told his mother what Griffith had done – and the two agreed that it was time to end the relationship.

However, Eli was never able to enjoy life without his ex-controller because the next day when he stabbed her his behavior turned into unimaginable violence.

After her daughter’s death, Carol became involved with Julie Davy, whose daughter, Poppy Dewey-Waterhouse, was murdered at the age of 24 by her jealous ex, Joe Atkinson.

The couple studied Dr. Jane Monkton-Smith’s “Eight Steps to Murder in a Relationship,” which shows how abusers move from control to violence.

“The escalation of violence in Griffiths was so rapid and so alarming,” he said. “He went through the stadiums so early and there was no time to [intervene].”

But while she notes that it was difficult to stop Griffiths in time, Carol wants other parents and teens to know and recognize the signs of forced control for themselves.

“I think young girls need to be educated about what control is. If your partner says, “I don’t want you to go out,” it’s not because he loves you.

“It’s not love. It’s control. Young girls need to be taught what is healthy about relationships.”

Following Eli’s tragic death, Wiltshire Council initiated a review of the killings, recommending that local authorities work to raise awareness of domestic violence in young people’s relationships.

The review further recommends that “the Ultshire Community Safety Partnership explore ways to share and integrate evidence-based best practices across the school system for healthy relationships across Wiltshire”.

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