Trigger Warning: Taking power back.

This is not my story. It belongs to a very brave woman. It is her story of one night in her life. It's extremely graphic and may trigger you, so please be careful of yourselves.  

"I was feeling pretty stressed. It was Summer holidays sure, but lately I had been so stressed, and also so relieved. Relieved that I was now able to make my own life. Stressed that my ex seemed intent on doing whatever it took to disrupt whatever I was doing. That I had recently been having a wine in the evening. But it made me sleepy and I decided not to because B’s tooth fell out, and I didn’t want to fall asleep and forget to be the tooth fairy.

I remember I was chatting with some people online.. One of them was also waiting up to be the tooth fairy for one of his kids, and we laughed about it … Then at about 11pm I received a text from my ex. Rambling and scary, it talked about how I would never see him again. It wished me well. Asked me to look after the kids, I think. Said that he was nowhere near my hometown and would never ever hurt me.

That familiar feeling, only more ominous. The “oh she is happy, I’ll pull that carpet out from under her feet”.. moment.

I worried a little about whether he was actually going to kill himself. My friend had reminded me that those who intend to die rarely tell anyone beforehand. I didn’t ever consciously imagine that he would come to the house. But I checked the front door was locked. I felt uneasy. I didn’t think I would sleep. B came out of their room, and half asleep jumped into my bed. I was right outside the bedroom on my laptop - still talking. Talking about my misgivings with friends and acquaintances.

Finally I climbed into bed. It was hot and muggy. I wore my tiny short nightie it was so hot. I remembered to put money under my kid’s pillow for his tooth.

I tried, and tried to sleep. I felt so uneasy. I was tired but I couldn’t sleep, or maybe I dozed a little. But I realised I needed to get a drink of water. I got up and looked at my phone, checking to see if I had any messages from the people I most liked talking with. I saw the time - it was well after 3am - about 3:40am I think?

I turned and walked out the bedroom door heading towards the kitchen, when I recognised the outline of a man standing in the dark in the dining room in front of the kitchen. He didn’t see me, he was looking down at my laptop, and touching something on the table next to it. I couldn’t see it was my ex. But I knew it was.

I gasped. So loudly that he looked up. I could still just see a dark shadow. My heart started pounding and my training from self defence kicked in. Be angry, tell him clearly to get out. “What the FUCK are you doing here!! Get out of my HOUSE!!!!” I screamed loudly. I ‘knew’ it was him, but I couldn’t see for sure. It was just a dark outline of a man. I can remember being sure, but knowing I didn’t have enough evidence to be sure.

The shadow stretched himself up fully. And I just stood there, I thought he might just run off. The next thing I can clearly remember is struggling with the bedroom door - I know from previous statements that he growled “YOU FUCKING BITCH!” at me. But I can’t visualise that now. But I do remember that I only retreated when he ran after me, and I so nearly got the door shut. SOO nearly. But he pushed it open.

B was asleep in the bed. At the back of my mind, I knew that this HAD to be my ex - but I still didn’t have enough evidence that it was him. I couldn’t see him. I was also aware that I had to protect the kids.

I felt the best way to protect them was to be as quiet as possible so they didn’t wake up and wouldn’t have to see their Mum being accosted by… their Dad? A stranger?

He pushed me further into the bedroom, then pushed me down on the bed. My feet were on the floor, my knees bent and my torso was pushed against the top of the bed. His hand was very roughly around my top lip and he pushed and held me down so hard that there were significant bruises there later. I still had doubt that maybe this wasn’t my ex. And even if it was - perhaps he was going to rape me? I’d had a few close calls in my life, but never been raped. And I matter of factly wondered if it was going to happen now. I silently struggled because the last thing I wanted was for my kids to see it. I wondered whether it was something he would do to me, and didn’t think so but realised I couldn’t be sure. He had never been great with boundaries, but he had never forced me to do anything I said no to. Cajoled, pushed, harassed, sure...Then. A BANG. On the left side of my jaw. My head felt like it was ringing like a bell. He had HIT me! I’d never been hit like that before - a full force blow to the head. I’d always feared it. And I was awaken completely and so surprised by this blow.

I can remember at the time thinking, “ It doesn’t hurt, why have i feared violence so much my whole life - when it doesn’t hurt??” There was a sense of relief (adrenaline??) that the thing that I had feared ( dreaded, anxed and worried over) my whole life had been bearable. Not that bad. Something I could endure.

He hit me again just seconds later. On top of my head, I think. A weird blow coming down on TOP of my head. I realised there was something very wrong with this. He wasn’t trying to rape me, he wasn’t just punching me…I struggled back against him and tried to hold his arms and then hands back. And then I felt it. A fucking ROCK! Almost the size of a rugby ball, a rock. He had bought it down hard on my head…I do remember then shouting out as loudly as I could… “You’ve got a FUCKING ROCK!!!!”. An accusation. And I realised, he meant to do me harm. He was trying to kill me. My life was in danger. I had pushed my hands over his hard hard face, every muscle tensed and angry. I thought it was probably him but I still wasn’t sure. At this point, blood was starting to cover my eyes, and I couldn’t see anymore.

I knew I had to take steps to save my life. So I started screaming. And I knew it was a goood scream, a blood-curdling scream, a scream to wake the dead. I no longer have to worry whether I would be able to scream if I needed to - I KNOW I can.

It didn’t stop him, it made him go harder, more desperately. I counted every attempt - there were 9. I counted every contact - there were 5. He got the right side of my jaw, the corner of my forehead, and my nose - as well as the 2 previous hits to the top left of my temple and the top of my head.Somehow during the screaming and commotion, B jumped up standing on the bed. He was screaming out and crying “What are you doing_____??? (his older brother)”. I remember telling him “Its not your brother - its Daddy!” and he turned the light on and shouted “What are you DOING Daddy? ???”

I couldn’t see, my eyes were completely covered in blood - and I had watched blood SPURT out of my nose when he broke it with the rock. My kid screeched something, and I felt my ex move away just a tiny bit. I threw myself the three or so steps to the open bedroom window ( second story - and it was so hot) I shouted at the top of my lungs “Help me! Call the police!! Help me Call the Police”. I said it at least twice. This was also something I remembered from self defence class -don’t just scream, call people to action.

I must have wiped my eyes with my hand, because I saw him move towards me a bit, hesitate, then run away. I still hadn’t seen him clearly - just what I could see through the blood. I still couldn’t be sure to identify him.

As he ran out into the lounge, I heard A say loudly “DADDY!!! What are you doing here???!!!”.

I backed away from the window and sat down on the bed, suddenly feeling very dizzy. A said that Dad had gone out through the laundry and what was he doing there.

B shouted out “Daddy tried to murder Mummy!!!!”. I picked up my iphone and tried to dial 111 - but I couldn’t because there was blood all over it, and it made it hard to dial. So A ran and got our wireless phone and I called on that. I had to lie back on the bed I was so dizzy, but I managed to tell the kids that it wasn’t as bad as it looked and that I was okay and an ambulance would be coming to take care of me.

I asked the 111 despatcher to get my friend to come over and take care of the children. She got to me before anyone, because the initial call out was that they heard screaming from the park behind the house."

What domestic violence looks like.

Being a woman