Stop Domestic ViolenceWhen he came in with the shovel I realised he was going to kill me. He told me so. If Sammy had not blocked him at the doorway, I would be dead now.

I took the second of hesitation to jump across the kitchen table and run out the front door. I owe you Sam.

I abandoned my four little children. It was no use dying for them. They were his. He was not going to kill them. Though some dads do. Imagine. Imagine that.

I have no family here. We had met backpacking through Australia. I am an immigrant.

A part-time, registered nurse, I did not earn enough money to feed and house them. I was trapped.

The violence, though, was unbearable.

I felt embarrassed to tell anyone. I told lies. My medical colleagues believed the lies despite their training. It was easier. My best friends know all about my sex life but never the beatings.

A well-educated, professional woman does not get beaten up by her husband. What a naïve, elitist, stuck-up girl was I.

The police helped stem the flood of violence. My parents helped me buy a house. I started my own life and now this.

He did not have a key, so he raged outside until he found an implement that could smash the door and then me.

I was not going to let this bastard kill me. I had to break the cycle. But I did not know how.

An outsider, I did not know about court orders, ousting, women’s shelters or other agencies.

They hid me, and my children, for three months: While tempers subsided and I got my life on track. If it weren’t for that, I would be dead now. I owe you all.

The author wishes to remain anonymous. She still struggles with the injustices of a system designed to protect the status quo and the men, at all levels, who abuse it to protect their fellows.