Graham called us following the Coronation Street storyline. He said it was spooky to watch as it was very much like what he had been through and brought back a lot of memories. He wanted to share his story with us in order to show men in the same position that there is no shame in being a victim, and that they should come forward and get help.
Graham was married to his wife for 10 years before he felt strong enough to leave and divorce her.
During their marriage his wife was violent to both him and their son. She had a drink problem, which only made the violence worse. But she would use this as an excuse after every attack and promised to change. Graham even tried to commit suicide twice throughout their marriage because he did not know where to go for help.
During the final attack, Graham was stabbed in the head by his wife. He managed to leave the house bleeding profusely and got to a public telephone. He just about managed to ring 999 before he collapsed. He woke up in hospital with no memory of how he got there.
Throughout the relationship Graham told no one of the abuse he was suffering. She had made him feel like it was his fault and he blamed himself for all of it.
After they separated, Graham was kept from seeing his son for 2 years. But following a very lengthy Court process he was eventually granted sole custody and has brought his son up alone ever since.
For years following the divorce, Graham found it very hard to enter into another relationship as it was difficult for him to trust women. However, recently he has formed a new relationship and it is going very well for them both.
I was with my wife for six years. I used to do everything I could for her. I paid off her debts, paid her bills and paid for her car. But I soon learnt that nothing would ever be enough for her. The emotional abuse started first. I was very rarely allowed to go anywhere by myself. When I was it would only be to work and even then she would phone me constantly throughout the day. I tried to leave her when this started, but she emotionally blackmailed me to stay by overdosing on tablets; which I later found out she would spit them out under the bed. She would also threaten to hurt any future girlfriends I have so badly that I wouldn’t want to be with her. Optimistically thinking that things could get better between us I proposed to her after two years of being together. This was the biggest mistake of my life- things went dramatically downhill from that moment. The first time she viciously attacked me was on Good Friday 2008. I don’t know why or what provoked her. She ran into the house, grabbed a knife and as soon as I walked in she was attacking me with it. She then grabbed my testicles and twisted them as hard as she could and would not let go. It was excruciatingly painful. To this day I still do not know what caused her to be so violent. She would just snap from nice to nasty in an instant. The violence only got worse from there. The second time she attacked me, she followed me around the house punching me in the head, hitting me with a pint glass, knocked me to the flood and proceeded to drop her knee into my head repeatedly. It was ferocious and I genuinely feared for me life. I also remember on another occasion she was punching me in the eye when I was driving around a roundabout, so hard that she bruised her knuckles. I was however later in the wrong for causing the bruising. The most shocking attack however, happened on our wedding night. She really beat me, kicking and punching me repeatedly. I remember her digging her nails into my cheek, it felt like she was going to rip my cheek off. I managed to get away and ran down the road in bare feet and my wedding suit. I went back because she was threatening to hang herself with my wedding tie. I later got beaten because the cuts on my face ruined our honeymoon pictures. She was eventually convicted of assault by beating three years ago and given a six month restraining order. She subsequently lost her job as a care assistant. I have been left with a lot of fear and I am constantly on a state of high alert. I am however in the process of explaining my experience to my therapist. I am working on dealing with what happened to me and slowly moving on. It is a long and difficult process but I now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I will not allow her ruin my future.