A WOMAN who feared her partner was going to kill her during a vicious assault wants to raise awareness of the help available to victims of domestic violence.
Lynn Hart suffered horrific injuries when David Harrison repeatedly punched her in the face and beat her using a TV sound bar.
Images taken after the attack show Lynn, 53, barely able to open her eyes and with her face covered in bruises.
Harrison, 52, flew into a rage after returning to his flat in Lower Gornal, Dudley from a nearby shop, where he had gone to buy alcohol.
After hitting Lynn until she fell to the ground, he continued to stamp and spit on her.
The incident was the latest in a series of assaults and the final straw for Lynn, who reported the attack to West Midlands Police.
“I genuinely thought he was going to kill me," she told BirminghamLive.
"He just kept punching me in the face and then picked up the TV speaker and used that to hit me.
"I don’t remember how I got out of the flat… it’s all a blur.
“I went to my son’s house where he called the ambulance and police.
"I love David, that’s why I stayed with him through the beatings, in the hope he’d change… but I knew my life was in danger if I stayed with him and enough was enough."
JAILED FOR SEVEN YEARS
Harrison was arrested the following day and initially tried to tell police Lynn had fallen down a flight on stairs, but was charged with wounding.
He later admitted the charge, and on September 3 was jailed for seven years at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Lynn continued: “We moved in together about six months after meeting and at first everything was great.
"But he was a heavy drinker and slowly things started going wrong.
"First it was verbal abuse, putting me down and telling me things like ‘your family don’t love you, only I love you’.
“But then he started with the physical attacks… and they got worse over time.
"I would put on extra make-up and come up with excuses for anyone who saw through the concealer."
'THE POLICE WERE ABLE TO HELP'
Lynn wants to share her story to raise awareness of the help available to victims of domestic violence from police and support groups.
She continued: “Each time he’d apologise and tell me it would never happen again.
"But I also thought there’s no point reporting it to the police as it would be my word against his, I wouldn’t be believed, and he’d then beat me even more.
"But that proved to be wrong and the police had enough to convict him.
“Looking back I should have got the police involved earlier but it’s easy to say in hindsight.
"They supported me from the moment I reported it, believed in me - that was important - and guided me through the court process.
'SPEAK TO SOMEONE'
Lynn also says that it is possible to break out of an abusive relationship.
“There might be thousands of people… in the position I was in, torn between their love for a partner but every day scared they could be assaulted for no reason, just a stray look or word," she said.
“Or even no reason at all. What I’d say is get help.
"It’s unlikely their abusive partner will suddenly just change - so speak to support groups like Women’s Aid and speak to the police.
“They can help you escape violent situations and come out the other side.
“I know how difficult breaking away can be but I truly feel that if I’d have stayed with David any longer I would have ended up dead."
Detective Inspector Catherine Webb-Jones, from the force’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Lynn’s appeal comes from the heart: victims of abuse need to find the courage to seek support… don’t suffer alone and don’t tolerate abuse.
"Lynn is a survivor and others victims can take comfort and seek their own solace from the courage she has shown.
“West Midlands Police will seek to safeguard vulnerable people from further harm as well as identify the triggers of abuse.
"Via referrals to support groups and charities such as Women’s Aid, we can support victims to take action to prevent further harm, and via offender interventions will address the causes of domestic abuse in the hope of changing their behaviour."
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