“…I was pottering around doing my housework and he came and he was, you know – get downstairs, do this and that. I said, ‘I’m not dealing with you while we’re fighting; I’m not doing this.’ He said to me, ‘if you love me you’d come downstairs or I’m going to hurt myself.’ I didn’t think he meant it. I went down about ten minutes later and he was trying to kill himself. He told me it was my fault, that I was a bad mother and everything. I ended up having to get the guards that night.
“For about a week or two everything was grand and then he started back on me again, criticising me, harassing me.
“So I got a solicitor and eventually I got my protection order, and an interim barring order. I had to come back to get the final barring order.
“I think sometimes [the judge] doesn’t grasp the full extent – that just because there wasn’t physical violence, the emotional can be worse than the physical sometimes because it’s the fear of when is he going to get me. He says he’s going to get me but when? Like you need to take it serious. But like I’ve had the other two judges like and they didn’t care. They just sort of said, ‘nothing happened to you, so what are you here for?’ Being beat is bad, like, but sometimes I would have rather if he had of hit me because you could deal with the beating, you could say well look at the bruises he left. It was the little bits, slowly like picking at things, breaking down things slowly until eventually I felt worthless.”