A husband threatening to cut his wife’s face off when he got home from the pub shocked the people who witnessed the scene.

It was part of a hard-hitting short film shown to people at a congress held to discuss sexual violence and domestic abuse.

Through watching the film they got a sense of how difficult it is for people to leave an abusive relationship and the amount of violence they suffer before contemplating it.

The aim of the congress at the Arnhem Gallery, Fairfield Halls, was to get people discussing the issues and everyone who took part was invited to pledge to do their bit to end domestic abuse and sexual violence in Croydon.

Organisations represented at the event included the council, residents associations, schools, health groups and businesses.

Hosting the congress, Croydon Council’s deputy cabinet member for finance and treasury, Hamida Ali, said: "One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse or sexual violence in their lifetime.

"A woman may experience 35 incidents in their lifetime before picking up the phone to the police.

"There should be no place for this type of abuse in Croydon.

"We all have a role in challenging the myths and stereotypes that still abound.

"How often do we talk about the role of schools and businesses in tackling domestic violence?

"It’s really important that we are also focusing on tackling people’s attitudes.

"Domestic violence is the business of everyone in this room."

Seema Malhotra, the shadow minister for preventing violence against women and girls, was invited to speak to the delegates before the video was shown.

She mentioned how some schools in her constituency have lockers where women keep belongings so they can escape abusive relationships.

The Feltham and Heston MP said: "Too often we have been hesitant to deal with this issue.

"Two women a week are killed by a partner or former partner and thousands of girls in the UK are at risk of female genital mutilation.

"Tackling these heinous crimes has to be part of the priorities of every government.

"How do we step up our strategy to stop violence against women and girls?

"How do we make sure we have a zero tolerance to violence in relationships?"

If you are a victim of domestic violence you can get help by calling the National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 08082 000247 or Croydon's Family Justice Centre on 020 8688 0100 or visit the website croydon.gov.uk/fjc