Abused wife’s ‘19 years of hell’

A WOMAN in her forties from Port Shesptone has spoken out about her 19-year-long stay in an abusive marriage.

To protect her identity and that of her children, the woman will hereafter be referred to under the pseudonym Emily.

A deadly union that robbed her of a son, a father and in many ways herself, Emily wanted to share her story of abuse with other women so that they did not find themselves in a similarly hellish situation.

According to Emily, the physical abuse started from the first year of marriage, however the violence only surfaced when her now ex-husband was under the influence of alcohol and so she “forgave him” in the hopes that things would get better.

However, the abuse only became worse and, after a miscarriage, a murder case and infidelity exposed, Emily managed to walk away from the marriage and stand on her own as a business owner.

“When I was eight months pregnant with my first child, I remember we were driving back from Port Shepstone and he started to race with another car while under the influence of alcohol. I was holding onto my seat, pleading with him to stop but he refused to listen. He took me on a terror ride through Port Shepstone, through the red robots. I kept asking him to slow down but he did not listen. When we got home, we got into an argument and he got really angry, breaking things in the house and not letting me sleep. The next morning I went into early labour and I lost my son,” said Emily.

Emily’s financial dependance on her husband, as well as consistent encouragement from relatives to remain in the marriage, contributed to her not leaving the abusive situation.

“I came from a very passive and conservative family who believed in assisting our husbands and standing by their side if they had problems, no matter what the costs,” said Emily.

In 2010, Emily says her physically disabled father was brutally assaulted to death when she left him alone with her husband in the house. Her husband claimed he did not remember what happened because he was intoxicated on alcohol and prescription drugs.

Emily’s husband was charged and sentenced to five years in prison for the murder, being released after two on good behaviour.

“That night he was so drunk he even dropped the baby on the floor and did not even realise it. So, I decided to take my children and get away from him because I was terrified. I left my dad, who was physically disabled due to suffering two strokes, behind because we did not have enough time to carry him,” said Emily.

“The brutality of what happened stays with me everyday. He broke seven of my dad’s ribs. He broke my father’s collar bone and my father’s face was crushed in. There were three inch nail holes that penetrated my dad’s skull,” she said.

19 years after getting married, Emily managed to walk away from the marriage and start her own business, although she says she still believes her and her children’s lives are still in danger as she has received threatening messages which she believes may be from her ex-husband.

“My message to women is that if they are in an abusive relationship they must get out while it is still early because it only gets worse. We harbour these monsters in our homes and we take care of them because we fear society and what other people will say, however we need to believe that we are strong enough to make it on our own.”