Tonight, two brave women — and a man who freely admits to abusing his wife — tell their story to Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.
Trigger warning: This post contains details of domestic violence and may be triggering for some readers.
Every morning for years, Sharon woke with dread about what was going to happen that day. Perhaps she’d be choked again. Maybe, this time, her face would be smashed into a mirror. There was a chance a knife would be dragged across her throat.
This wasn’t an empty fear; these things have all happened before.
“I married a monster,” a tearful Sharon tells 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown.
“If he hadn’t have gone to jail, I’d be dead.”
Sharon was abused by her then-husband Steve so many times that she “lost count” of the times he tried to kill her. Despite living in a perpetual state of terror, she explains it wasn’t as easy to walk away from the relationship as some would expect.
“The longer it goes on the more dangerous it gets,” a tearful Sharon says, speaking in an exclusive interview to be aired tonight on 60 Minutes. “It is safer to stay with them because you know where they are and you feel comfort in the fact that they know where you are. You’re not going to upset them by them not knowing where you are.”
Steve, once Sharon’s teenage sweetheart, won her back as an adult by telling her he’d “loved her for 30 years”. The two married in a fairytale wedding — but soon after they said ‘I do’, he began to hit her.
While Sharon was “shocked” after the first attack, she had no idea her new husband’s violence would soon escalate until a court order was issued to protect her. But even that order didn’t prevent Steve’s violent attacks on his wife — and after his third breach, Steve was finally sentenced to six months jail.
Steve says he emerged from his imprisonment a changed man.
“You’ve got to stop. You’ve got to stop for yourself, for your kids, for your partner, for your wife, for your family,” he says in an emotional plea to other men, while wearing a white ribbon to signify zero tolerance for violence against women. “Go get some help.”