A Hull victim of domestic violence has spoken out in an extraordinary show of support for the man who has spat in her mouth, slapped her in the face and threatened to kill her.
The woman, who wants to be known only as Nicola, said her partner of 18 months has abused drugs and been violent towards her, ending up in Hull Magistrates' Court last month after being seen in a supermarket with his hands around her neck.
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And yet, in an incredible show of support which will divide many, Nicola says her partner deserves help for his drug addiction, anger issues, and needs to be helped, rather than "written off".
The court imposed a 28-day restraining order and fined him for breaching a previous court order.
But Nicola said she asked to speak in the courts, and pleaded for them not to separated, fearing it would send him spiralling.
She also claims that separating them, which the court did, and trying to force the break-up of their relationship, will only lead to him finding another woman to abuse, and greater drug problems.
"They didn't listen to me," she said. "They wanted to protect me, which is fine and thank you, but I don't need it, I need to help him."
Nicola says that she is left with no-where to turn after the court gave him an ultimatum.
"They encouraged me to call the police if he hurts me again, while also telling him that if I do, they will jail him. So I won't be able to call the police if I am half-dead, because I don't want him in prison."
While making no attempt to 'excuse' his actions, she hopes that by speaking out about their "devastating" situation, she might make people working in the criminal justice system "listen" to her and try to help her save the man that she is determined to rescue from his demons and childhood-inflicted traumas.
Nicola said: "If you look at my situation from the outside, you might call me a victim of domestic violence.
"My boyfriend has been shouting at me, slapping my face, spitting in my mouth, locking me out of my own house, threatening me with taking my life several times.
"You can see me as someone weak, afraid of standing up for herself, after witnessing several rescues by neighbours, friends and at last the police.
"You could call me an imbecile for putting up with all the terror.
"But I don't consider myself any of those things. In fact, I see myself as a fighter. I grew a thick skin during these hard months and my focus is on saving a man who is desperately calling for help but doesn’t know how to get it."
She said her partner, who is 32, is a very "good-hearted guy" but he was "beaten, and far worse" by his father for as long as he can remember.
She said he married young and had two children, one of whom died, and he became clinically depressed and attempted suicide after getting divorced.
Nicola said: "It is clear that he is in trouble. He can behave for a short period of time, but then he would explode over the smallest things and would not know how to communicate his needs in an acceptable manner."
His partner said she is trying to give him the stable home life he never had - registering him to the GP, dentist, and buying him clothes, and fighting his "self-neglect".
She begged the courts to consider an order requiring him to attend an anger management course or rehab, but said all he got was a threat and a fine instead.
"We are educated, good people, I can read and research and find ways to help him, and I am trying to bring in routines, such as wake-up and bed times, almost like with a child, to build his trust and self-esteem. But I can't do everything alone, I need professional help.
"There are people worse off than us, who cannot help themselves, who are written off and go on to commit more crimes. It's all wrong."
She added: "I do understand that the police and courts are intending to protect me. I really appreciate that. But pushing these kinds of people more towards the edge does not serve me, him, or the society as a whole.
"Even if we break up and he somehow manages to get into a new relationship, he will still carry on his bad habits and won’t lose his deeply-burnt coping mechanisms.
"So you are sentencing other women to go through the same or even worse again. I am a strong person. I am still intact and unbroken. The girl before wasn’t this lucky and the next one might end up worse."
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