An Astounding Case of Murder ...

A Brisbane wife and mother has been been found "not guity"of murder, although she admits to drugging her husband and then shooting him twice through the head.

Driven to kill but not guilty of murder ...

What astounds me the most in this case is that the jury has appeared to accept it as official that the police and general community failed completely in protecting Susan Falls (and in the end her husband) when she came to them seeking help for the abuse she had lived with for years. While this failure (on the part of the police and community) is not mentioned once in this or any other articles I have read about this murder.

The court accepted that Susan Falls killed her husband when all of her other options had run out. Susan had asked for help from her uncle-in-law as well as the police and was told it was vital that she had to leave him.

This (as always seems to be the case in these type of stories) only made the situation worse and after she was coerced to return (by intimidation) she was then left on her own to defend herself when he threatened to kill her children.

Am I crazy or does anyone else see the glaringly obvious problem here?

Why on earth did these men that she sought help from lack the valour to have this brutal man
sentenced and convicted for his crimes? What kind of insanity has the world come to when it is accepted as standard practice to tell a woman who is being physically and sexually assualted that the onus of responsibilty is on her to 'run away'? What are our police and jails for, if not to protect women like Susan and her family from this type of criminal behaviour?

And a few more questions besides - such as;

- Why are the police not obliged to run a risk assessment for every domestic violence complaint they recieve?

- Why do we tolerate people in the media and our communities who prattle on about 'the stupid women' who stay with men like this, as if that makes it their fault, when we so regularly read what can all too often happen when they do leave.

There is only one answer I can come up with and it is pure and simple cowardice.

We see these stories so often in the papers now - even in a small country like Australia - and every time the partner leaving seems to be quoted as part of what provoked the violence rather than what helped.

I am outraged that the police and uncle have not been called in to question in this case and would love to hear what you think ...

Kim Cooper


  1. Kathryn Deans poses similar questions in her chapter about Heather Osland in the book Meaner Than Fiction.

    Work needs to be done to avoid these kinds of situations. It's unacceptable that someone should endure years of domestic violence, including having their children's lives threatened. It's also unacceptable that someone should be drugged and executed, regardless of what they have done or might do.

  2. When you asked this question Kim:( Why is the)onus of responsibilty on her to 'run away'?
    I have to say you struck a cord.For a number of years I was angry about that same question.It just didn't seem fair that where I pay bills and
    rent and where I was the victim, should have to be the one to have to start all over again especially without any family support.Also the police(though sad)especially in low rent areas develop a callous to constant calling.Though if a person is uneducated in what their going through they are doomed to repeat it.And when the abuser is confronted(by whatever small and insignificant thing you may have "done") their dark and uncontrolled emotions of inferiority and insecurity are heightened and they bully to whatever length they deem necessary to keep you in check.Then the scenario that is 80-90% inevitable to happen is Mrs."Brisbane".

  3. Hi everyone,

    Thanks anon June 5th, yes I agree totally that neither of these situations is acceptable and to P.B. I think you would like a motto I saw the other day which said "Stay and let the violence leave" ...

    I hope we can create some far reaching discussions on this that help change attitudes because I belive it really is lack of eduction and understanding that causes the "they should just leave' attitude.

    Kim Cooper

  4. Ooh thats good Kim,
    Stay and let the violence leave. This concept was delivered to me when I asked the minister that married my husband and I if he thought I should "just leave." He said why should you leave when he's the one acting up?

    It is amazing how many people think the solution is to leave. When there are children involved this is complicated.

    During a verbal or physical attack it is quite impossible to scoop up your children and run for the door. Another scenario would be run out of the house without your child or children. How can a mother do that? Most wouldn't. Even without children when an abuser is on the rampage threatening to leave them escalates the situation.

    After an attack you may wait for them to leave for work or plan an escape. After living in a family or friends spare room for a week or a shelter you are too shell-shocked to find a job if you need one. No babysitter to watch your child, you can only live off the charity of others for so long and then you are a nuisance. The abuser calls apologizes tells you they miss you and want to see the baby,wants you home that they were wrong and will never do it again. You want to believe it because it sounds so great. And you are homeless and exhausted living out of a suitcase and sleeping on someones couch with a child.

    These scenarios play out the same because there is a prevailing attitude that the person being abused should be able to think clearly and logically and make stable decisions after being terrorized.Not likely. While the abuser sits pretty in the home alone with only one hell bent idea on how to get the victim back.

    Ive noticed that law enforcment has become more educated in my area. In the past when Ive called in the police they really were not concerned with me. They had a chat with my husband but acted suspicious of me. Later when I had given up calling the cops someone else sent them out just to take a statement from me. These educated cops took photos of my bruised body and even though I was afraid to press charges they went after him at his place of work and arrested him. Today I'm glad they did. He was sentenced to DV counceling for 52 weeks and a year of AA. The court also granted me a restraining order and custody of our two children with very limited supervised visitation for him. This is when the law works. Sadly too often it does fail. Family and friends arn't always the best support because they arnt properly educated either. Its so important to better know how to deal with an abusive person. And recognize abusers. It starts with each individual advocating more progressive and effective ways of thinking.

    Kim I love your approach and your program because it educates and challenges these negative and dangerous attitudes that put victims in more danger and gives the abuser all the power. There was a point where I was convinced that he should just end my life and put me out of my misery. I felt like a hostage and would fantasize that he would get in a car accident. I found myself acting "abusive" toward him. That was when I knew things had to change. I didn't want to be like that. It took years of educating myself to get healthy again.
    The bottom line in the above case is that the entire situation was fraught with ignorance on the part of all parties involved includeing the person pulling the trigger. She didnt see any other option. It's amazing how many people were involved in the murder and thought this was a good solution.

    Attitudes will change thanks to people who advocate change. We all need to stand up for people that are too weak to stand up for themselves until they are strong enough to defend themselves in a healthy way. Shout it from the mountains Kim! love, Theresa

  5. Wow I remember that too - fantasing about him having a car accident - and hoping he would. How chilling - now Steve is so precious to me I can't belive I ever felt that way.

    I just realized I have to write more about good and bad male role models soon. I was thinking about it today and I think it had more to do with Steve's change than I have given credit to. He had a boss when he was at his worst who was a very negative father figure - he used to accuse Steve of stealing and was very nasty and competitive with him and I know him getting fired from that job in the end (and me finding better male mentors for him) was a huge part of the change in him.

    OK more on that soon but thanks everyone for your comments (-:

    Kim Cooper

  6. Hi Kim, Your comments are so right! This makes me wonder why not much has changed in 40 years, when I was being abused by my ex I left with the children, he came after me and on the end of a gun tried to force me back. But for the intervention of a neighbour I would probably be dead and finally went to court and got help. Also got a job and supported my children for the next 15 years by myself. Too scared to follow through for child supportI finally moved to Australia. Lived with that fear for years untill I heard he had died in 2008. WHEN are the police finally goingto take the action you mention and protect women and children. Its too bad that the final solution for that woman was to take matters into her own hands, but I know how she felt and want to say to any woman who feels this helplessness, "KEEP TRYING TO FIND HELP, scream it from the rooftops if you need to. There are people who will help you if you keep trying" Keep up the good work Kim, you have helped me be stronger and I can pass your advice on to other women in this situation and give them your website. Education is the key!

  7. Yes, I recall in history that John Calvin, the Reformer, in Switzerland advocated for very strong consequences for abusers. Their support and help groups were just getting started. So, after 500 years, the progress is somewhat dismal. Still after at least 2000 years, the tendency is to return to "what did you do to set X off?!" As it turns out, anything, everything, and nothing will do that. Furthermore, the habit is to return to what you did that can be changed, what blame can be assigned to the seductress, and of course that is how rape was assessed- two people and two consenting adults or two guilty parties as opposed to two parties but one is not consenting nor guilty.

    As someone who grew up with three out of four grandparents and thee out of five aunts and uncles as noticeable narcissists and out and out pass the buck types, there really was no one who knew the right thing to do and would follow through without coaching or deliberate prodding or explanations. Help and corrective support was never near. I can recall my aunt exclaiming and giving commands for me at age four to "do something" about the abuse my mother was going through. As it turns out, my aunt was very good at denying that her own mother was enduring lots of abuse- emotional, mental, social, and occasionally physical. But she was getting me to deal with that abuse, stand up for my grandmother and mother, and meanwhile keep things quite jolly for her. There was no balance. I can't say that other relatives had much more to offer other than pity and smug dismissals of my grandmother- neither of which helped her situation but it did cause them to feel superior.

    I don't think that my mother or grandmother ever found support- but my grandfather sure did get his kids to stand up for him in spite of how he treated their mother. And in my own family, I have noticed that there is this huge effort to get others to side against me with these totally unreliable stories- just pure fabrication. A friend says that the reason so many are duped by the obviously untrue stories is that they are feeling insecure and have total crap self esteem. It is amazing to me that so many folks have no sense of tell it straight, own up for your words and actions, and go mend the situation which may be admitting motive and actions and taking responsibility.

    At the end of the day pity just is not proactive nor empathic- it just prolongs and deepens the problem.

    I would add Jesse James to the list of those with narcissistic bents as well as serial cheater. He really has too much of the how "I" suffered when it is the children and spouse who were hurt.

  8. My wife and I had a problem with an adolescent neighbor who use to come up to the fence and make sexual threatening remarks to my wife. He was offended by my objections to his loud rap music that he played in the back yard. The police would not help. He and his family told us that we should find somewhere else to live if we do not like his music or his coming up to the fence.
    I solved the problem by installing insulators from high voltage power lines along the top of the fence and a tesla coil that shot a continuous foot long streamer of lightning up to the wire that ran along the top of the fence so that I or my wife could frighten the emunctory indescretions out of him. The police and the court also said that he had a right to play his so called music as loud as he wanted because music is not legally defined as unreasonable noise so I connected a set of locomotive horns to a shop air compressor and played my calliope of locomotive horns. The police tried to charge me for doing this and in court I presented a letter from a chellist from a symphony orchestra stating that he had reviewed a tape recording of my sonata for calliope of locomotive horns and it too was music entitled to the same right to be played as the neighbor's rap music. Home brew electronic warfare has been a hobby of mine for years and I built a transmitter to jam his radio whenever he blasts it in his back yard. However, this requires retuning the transmitter each time he changes the radio station but it stopped the radio noise.
    The reason narcissism is an issue for me is that I am autistic and I had a pilot license until the FAA found out that I am autistic. The found out that I hate pop music and I consider it inferior to classical music so they hired a forensic consultant prison psychiatrist who wrote a report that autistic people are usually narcissistic and my contempt for pop music proves that I must have this personality disorder. In appealing it I learned that all the medical schools demand at least 6 hours of clionical contact time within 2 years to make a diagnosis and it requires great effort to do so. The psychiatrist, a former Johns Hopkins medical school faculty, who examined me and interviewed people who have known me and assured me that I do not meet any of the criteria for NPD. A psychologist who helped me deal with anxiety over graduate school gave tests and from the tests supporting hours of sessions and contact with my PhD advisor also assured me that I do not meet any of the diagnostic criteria for NPD.

  9. Many of you mention the fact that the narcissist wants their partner to stay in the home in order to maintain control over them. My husband wrote in a letter and also said that I was not worth working for, getting raises for, or worth buying a home for. He borrowed large sums of money on his credit cards, assured me that his banker approved of this notion, lived on it or gambled it away on stock options over 16 months. I had to leave after six months of this because I was nauseous and couldn't go through a second bout in our marriage of his not getting paid work when we needed him to do so. Our daughter (16) lives with him. I've blown up many times in interactions with him, so I am the "bad guy" at home. She is afraid of me, he tells me, and he is her hero. She does not know that he stopped supporting me (and us) financially by his risky, "I'm entitled" decisions and even spent her college fund nine years ago against my protests. I have battled depression which runs in my family, so not all has been easy for him either. They are coming to visit me for 10 days, and I am nauseous at the prospect of seeing him and having to interact with him. I would like to build some trust between my daughter and me. I have been reading a book on attachment, I keep reviewing a list of good responses to verbal abuse, and I also do have Steve's and Kim's beginning books and may be able to look through some of them before my family arrives. I would appreciate suggestions or ideas that any of you might have to offer. Many thanks.

  10. Hi Kim,
    I remember writing to you to say that in England, garnering support from the community is so difficult because no-one wants to know, even if you do turn up well-presented, calm and eloquent. I went to the police for help before I left and was advised to leave him. I left and have lost everything, children (possessions obviously), and he has even managed to persuade the police to prosecute me for fraud and false accounting in our business, even though it was he who was the dishonest one. I am abused by the system that cannot see the difference between abuse and an "acrimonious relationship" and am forced into communication with him that serve to give him ammo to abuse me with - even a glimpse of how I see things no matter how mundane gives him enough to use. I would recommend to anyone, if you leave, leave the country! All the best, Kate

  11. Hi Everyone,

    I really must emphasize what anon June 12th said and that is "KEEP TRYING TO FIND HELP, ... There are people who will help you if you keep trying".

    That was the case with me - it took me talking to the police many times (and doing it all wrong) and then I even moved into town and right near the police station after having lived too far away for them to be useful.

    If people are not going to help excuse yourself politely and keep looking. Good people know each other and so the first person will be the hardest to find but they will then usually introduce you to others.

    When people - especially the police ask what you want done you either say you want them charged or you say that you want them warned personally of what the result will be in they continue with their criminal bahavior.

    Also it is important that you don't talk about your relationship problems but instead talk about the abuse. You need to call the stuff the do by name.

    You can say "This is not about our relationship it is about him breaking the law!".

    Kim Cooper

  12. Kim -- Thank you for all you do. About the murder case: so many things are overlooked by most people, and those who should know better: the law, medicine, "therapists," etc. When I tried to tell my long-time women's group (some of whom are therapists!) about my husband's abuse, I was told "That's just the way men are," "Oh, he's so charming," "You'll never make it without him," and so on. I'm making new friends.

    Anyway, there are several important points in seeing why women have great trouble getting free (and no one, even professionals, seem to get these): (1) trauma bonding or "battered women's syndrome", aka brainwashing, aka Stockholm Syndrome, (2) coercive control (credible threats, surveillance, stalking, financial control, etc.), (3) induced debility or vulnerability (pregnancy, stress-related illnesses, poverty, etc.), (4) "learned helplessness"/self-sabotage, (5) couple shame (we present a face to the public which involves our man) and finally (6) we are simply bonded with our men -- we love them, have children with them, are invested in them and our shared lives -- much of our neuro-hormonal body-mind screams stay.

    I've written some handouts for our local domestic violence group, of whom I'm a client (my husband is a narcissistic abuser and I've benefited from your help), and I'm told they're helpful to others. I'd love to share them with you, esp. the ones on: keeping from being sucked back into an abusive relationship (i.e., getting free), DIY therapies, and overcoming "learned helplessness." I've been helping myself and others at the same time -- very rewarding. I'd love it if you could use any of this to help others. Is there a way to e-mail them to you?

  13. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for sharing - you can contact me through our help desk at;

    Kim Cooper

  14. For the last 5 years my husband of 25 years has been taking items from our house. At first it was my summer linens,I knew they had been washed and packed away,GONE when I went to get them. Then I noticed my diamond jewelry rare gemstone collections missing. Quilt blocks I had made for my granddaughter,sewing machine,new in box vacume. You get the idea. I made a report to the sheriff. My husband had me convinced I had either ""MISPLACED"" all this stuff or someone had come in & took it. The sheriff said there is no way anyone could have come in here with 3 huge dogs in the yard at all times. There was no evidence of forced entry.The person that took this knew where it was & what it was worth.None of my $20,000 tanzanite,burma ruby collection or anything else has been in a pawn shop.
    He told me ""YOU ARE F____ING CRAZY,YOU NEED HELP WOMAN. He even said he would call the sheriff and lie about being attached by me if I didnt stop asking him about where all my stuff was.I was told to take what was left of any value & put it into a storage,I did. He stole my purse with my keys and 4 digit security code & was seen on surveylance going into my storage taking all thats left worth anything. he has taken all MY family pictures,of my now deceased father & sister. I have nothing left in this house. I dont even has so much as a set of sheets for me bed.
    I have found that when he feels really bad about himself is when he will attach me verbally or physically. I called the sheriff one morning,they went to his work, I WAS THE CRAZY ONE!!! He is so charming he convinced them I deserved to have my door kicked in & to be attached.
    He has beatedn my dog & broke his leg in 2 places and dislocated it at the shoulder. He has taken my cats & hiden them for days on end. He tells me if I leave he will kill them & I know he will. He seems to get some kind of perverce plkeasure out of watching real life murder shows where they have dead bodies and alot of blood.
    I have tried for years and years to get him some help. I am now helping myself as much as possible.
    There is sooo much more to this story,but I kept it short.
    i have found some comfort in now knowing it isnt me.

  15. Hi Anon,

    I wonder why he is taking your stuff - does he have gambling debts? You need to get as much evidence as you can and take your complaint to a higher authority and demand action taken on these crimes. Make sure they see they video tape and get a lawyer if you need to. It is vital that you get help and you must present yourself calmly but insist that the law take action.

    Kim Cooper

  16. Today is a bad day. He is angry and mean. His plan to run off with another woman was shattered and then the sup-pump in the basement quit so we had water everywhere. I would like to stay and help him but today he went after our 11 year old and the only thing that stopped the violence was that a table was between them. He was caught in a lie, his adventure ended before it began and the house let him down. I didn't add us because we are a constant source of disappointment.
    I used your techneques to have a comversation with him but he was oppostie to everything presented. We never talk to him but when we try he tells us to shut up we have nothing to say he wants to hear. He wants us to help but then we are doing it all wrong or we are in his way. The bath room has water spots inside the sink and we are nasty rude people for leaving a mess behind for him to clean up after us. These are the nice interactions of our morning. And why am I here subjecting my boys to this abuse. WHen it was only directed at me I could manage it but our sons don't deserve to be hit or verbally abused...... Can I risk them to help him? I can see the challenges of the fiancial picture but the safety of my boys today right now concerns me.

  17. Hi LeAnne,

    I am concerned when you say "my technique to have a conversation with him" - because if he is being abusive it is vital that you disengage and get yourself to safety. Also if he is being violent and threatening it is essential that you call in your support network. If you want to leave leave but don't talk about that now while he wants a fight as it will only make the situation worse. I know that you have our books so please LeAnne very carefully now follow the advice outlined of how to get the police in to protect you. You cannot talk to him now - get yourselves to safety!

    Kim Cooper

  18. I am in my second marriage. My first marriage was 13 years long (2 children) to a narcissist. I moved from a narcissistic home life (parents) to a familiar life with my new husband. I was young and didn't have the skills or maturity to manage this relationship and left the marriage. I met my now husband (of 10 years) a couple of years later and we have a daughter together. I have become aware of the narcissism tendencies within myself (low self esteem, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed with responsibility, (although I manage responsibility every day I find it very draining) and am very aware of working on this. I am concerned that I have re-married a narcissist but blame the marrital challenges on myself. I am numb and feel afraid to discuss this with my husband as he is very closed to any discussion at all (unless I am berating myself). He is highly intelligent and works very hard at hiding his tendencies. How do I recognise the differentiation between our behaviours and work on making it better.

  19. Such intellectual dishonesty. It's no secret women are sexually attracted to 'jerks' (men with superficial charm, it's also called confidence), while many won't marry them, many will, usually after getting pregnant. It's very easy the blame the 'jerk', but the opposite, too sincere, too loving, is not valued at all in the eyes of those women. Now about the emotional abuse, controlling personalities, really, is that a man's thing? Who the hell in his own mind would believe these are unique male traits? Deluded women methinks! About physical violence, the one people despise the most, who told you that women in the same position would have not used their muscles? After all, they use a lot their emotional intelligence to play the other gender, no? So please...! No smoke without fire.

  20. Murder is either self-defense or pro-choice, when the person committing it happens to have a vagina, how strange! Women can't kill, cheat, steal or lie, right? It's impossible right? Right? Are women even human beings? Makes you wonder, they don't seem to possess any flaws attributed to the human race! Even the blog author seems to believe she's so perfect, where is she from, Pluto? Saturn? Jupiter? Another galaxy? Pardon my cynism.

  21. Hi anon June 20th,

    I am guessing that the last two posts were both from the same person? I think that maybe you have misunderstood this site and our message. Nearly half of our subscribers are men dealing with abusive wives and so I certainly know that the abusive and controlling personlity is not something limited to men.

    I also do not believe that what the woman in this story did was right. If you read what she lived through and the lack of any real help given to her by the police however I think you might understand the dilema the jury faced.

    I don't mind that you disagree but if you post again I would ask you not to refer to women by their genitalia. I have not seen any women here refer to men in that way - and I would also ask them to stop if they did.

    Kim Cooper

  22. Dear Kim,
    I have my Doctorate in several different areas of the law and try to help those who really need it. In terms of psychology the lady was pushed into what we call exclueded ego bounderys...In otherwords she was calcluating and had no knowledge whatsoever that what she was doing was wrong...You see, we experience (Five) feelings at least 1500 times within a 24 hour peroid,we are 'sad','glad','madd','scared',or 'excited' about one thing or another...When we have contaminated ego bounderys, we can be easally be pushed into just about anything. The key to life is learning how to understand our feelings and to rationally "think" before we react. It is a psycholgally proven 'fact' that 65% of people react from their feelings before they take time to rationally think if the way they are feeling is really worth the grief that will be the outcome of those feelings. In my professional openion, Law enforcement nowadays are certainly "NOT" trained properly and most of them are bias. The lady saved her life and with the "proper treatment" she can make it through her ordeal.
    Dr. Don G. Long

  23. Dear Kim,
    I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing to help those who do not know, or understand how to help themselves. If you ever need my help you just contact me by email and I will do everything in my power and knowledge to help you help others to understand the difference between their feelings and thinking. Again, thank you for trying to help those that do not understand.

    Dr. Don G. Long

  24. Hi Don,

    Your ideas are very interesting and I would love if you could share a little more about contaminated ego boundaries here for everyone to read?

    Kim Cooper

  25. Hi Kim,
    You asked that I explain a little more about contaminated ego boundaries...The comcepts of our brains are (1) Tought,(2)thought,(3) and feel. In otherwords, we have what is called a parent, adualt, and child, ego state in our brains. Our parent ego is the teaching part of our minds. We have a natural parent which is the one that when you were a little child and fell-down your mother or father picked you up and loved on you to assure you that everything is alright', your critical parent is the one that corrects the worngs we do while growing up. Your adualt ego state is the Thinking part of our brain that helps us rationalize that data that our brains take in. We all know that there is no such thing as a monster...For instants, say you bought your child a birthday prasent and placed it in the closet and said 'don't go in there because there is a monster' in there and he will get you if you do...What you just done was contaminated your childs' child ego state with we call a grand delusion, thereby, contaminatig there child ego state. they will therefore respond as scared and their child ego state will be conraminated from their adualt ego state. If you read a book writen by Murial James called born to win, you will receive a better understanding of what I teach. If you have group sessions, I would be more then happy to come and give a seminar. I teach transactional analisis, a better way to communicate and undertanding of our feelings. You may reach me at 575 373-7708 Kim. Please delete my number after you writ it down Kim. Thank you.
    Dr. Donald G. Long

  26. Hi Don,

    Thanks for your post but I am sorry I cannot edit posts that people send me (to take your phone number out) so I am sorry but can I ask you to post your response again without the phone number (which I have now thankyou? I also wonder what part of the world you are in?

    Your work sounds facinating and thanks for your time.

    Kim Cooper

    1. I was in a similar situation. I couldn't leave with a 2 month old child and a loss of my younger brother a month prior to being given a trespass order because I put a non violence order on my ex partner.. I rebuilt, worked hard, found it very hard, but with regular counseling, I survived...
      I know that this is an illness, but the effects on myself, especially myself, was traumatic to say the least, and I am now, 2 years later HAPPY to see that he will suffer for all the terrible and disgusting deeds he does to others.. There really is NO EXCUSE in my book to terrorize, humiliate and abuse a woman and children.. I hope he finds help one day but we have found a place far far away from his disease and will never ever go back to .. Such a sick and cruel person

    2. Hi anon I am so glad that you got away and that the man who tormented you is facing punishment.

  27. In looking back, I recall the physical abuse very clearly. Oddly, the cruel, demeaning words have hurt more over the years, but there was one event from some years ago that stands out.
    I was rushing to go work and snagged my last pair of tights. Having a quiet swear under my breath, I looked to see if it could be hidden until getting another pair. My husband marched up to me, said ladies don't swear, picked me up by the shoulders, shook me and bashed my head against the wall. I was so shocked, I didn't cry out. Putting my hand to the back of my head, I found I was bleeding. No idea what came over me, I kicked in hard in the shins, self defence class lessons, and ran out!
    I drove to work, yes, crazy with a head injury. Told everyone at work I'd bashed my head on the car door. Even crazier, I was a social worker and had women who were victims of domestic violence on my case load. It took me a long time to realise I was in the same place. A colleague of mine was pushed down the stairs by her husband, smacked into cupboards, dragged by the hair, punched in the face, but she didn't leave him until he tried to strangle her.

    Things weren't as bad after I retaliated, but he often gripped me too hard. If he tries it now, or he's getting a bit rough I shout owwh, loudly and he stops. It's like keeping a young dog from biting! I do wonder if he meant to do real harm. He never mentioned what he did, but the blood stain was still on the wall when I got home. I cleaned it up. He claims not to recall doing it.


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