Belfast Telegraph

Victim speaks out: 'I knew Greg wasn't going to stop beating me until I was dead'

By Terri-Louise Graham

As he kicked and punched me I knew this time he wasn't going to stop until I was dead. All I could think was 'my babies are going to be without their mummy'.

Punch after punch I thought 'this is it' and I felt so, so sad at the thought of never seeing my children again.

Then there was a knock at the door and he began to panic saying it was the police.

I knew it was my last chance so I screamed at the top of my voice for help. He had a knife and said he was going to stab me but I managed to get past him and ran straight into the arms of a policewoman.

I could barely see her, my face was so badly beaten.

After three years of beatings and rapes he would never physically harm me again.

That was in 2011. Three years on and there are days when I still think I'm going to be stuck with what he did to me for the rest of my life.

I have post-traumatic stress, I still can't go to places on my own, I have nightmares.

But then I stop and take a look at who I am today. I am a completely different person. I am alive. I have four gorgeous babies. I am so much stronger than I was. Back then I was a shadow of myself. There wasn't even a Terri-Louise there by the end.

Before I began seeing Greg (Logue) I always said I would never become that woman who stayed with someone after they hit them. I never believed I would ever be a battered woman.

We got together when I was 24. He was very loving and was always telling me I was beautiful and I felt safe.

The first time he turned on me was when I was three months pregnant. And later, he tried to kill me.

We were at a party and he smashed a bottle of vodka over my head and dragged me outside. He threatened to kill my friend if she called the police.

He dragged me into bushes, ripped my clothes, punched and kicked me and sexually assaulted me. This went on and on for hours. When we got back to the house he kept battering me. He dragged me into the bedroom and by now I kept passing out and coming around again. When he kept kicking and punching me it dawned on me that he wasn't going to stop this time. He was going to kill me.

When the police arrived and I got away from him, he ran away and was missing for 11 days or more which meant that while I was in hospital I was terrified he would come back for me. Eventually he was caught. It was horrible having to face him in court but when he pleaded guilty and was sentenced, that feeling was brilliant.

Craig has a history of domestic violence and it is all on record. After all those years of him abusing me and finally trying to kill me, I found out after about his violent past and that he had broken an ex-girlfriend's cheekbone.

If I had known he'd been violent in the past I wouldn't have gone into the relationship.

In England and Wales they have Clare's Law which lets people find out from police if their partner has a history of domestic violence.

I believe information like this should be made available to women. I know other girls who have been beaten up really badly and then they found out afterwards that he had done the same with previous partners. If that information was made available then at least you could make a decision before you fall in love.

I'm not saying that every woman would walk away from the relationship if they were made aware their partner had a violent past but I know that I would not have become involved with Craig. I would never have ended up almost beaten to death and with emotional and psychological scars that I might never fully recover from.

He will be eligible for release on August 31, 2018. I am scared about him getting out. There is part of me believes that he won't let it go. That he will come and find me and finish what he started. But I am trying to put that out of my mind at the moment and concentrate on my new life.

My time with him was the lowest point of my life, but I have come out of it.

My family and friends were there to help me through. Even though they had been cut out of my life while I was with him they were there for me when I needed them.

If I can get through this then any woman can. Don't suffer in silence. You'll be surprised at how strong you can be.

  • As told to Deborah McAleese

Read more:

Domestic abuse: 110 cases a day in Northern Ireland... but that's just tip of iceberg 

Clare's law is needed here so we know abusive men 

'I tortured all my girlfriends ...but I'm sorry now'

How women can break the silence over domestic violence 

When home is where the hurt is

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