A WOMAN brutally beaten up by her husband during a three-hour ordeal is urging domestic abuse victims to go to the police.
Kat Hillyard suffered a broken eye socket, stab wounds and needed stitches in her mouth after the attack.
Father-of-13 Robert Hillyard, 40, of Rogers Walk, Cotford St Luke, was last week jailed for seven years, as reported in the County Gazette and somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news Hillyard attacked his wife several times during their volatile seven-year relationship, but she always forgave him until the latest incident while they were staying with relatives in Southampton.
Mrs Hillyard, 35, who is getting divorced, said: “My time with him was hell. It was a fatal attraction.
“At first he was polite, nice, normal, caring, genuine, but when we moved in together, things started going wrong.
“About 80% of the time we got on, the other 20% he’d lash out for no reason.”
She said Hillyard, who regularly drank and took legal highs, had behaved the same in previous relationships.
“It’s hard for people to understand why you always go back,” said Mrs Hillyard, who is staying with a friend in Norton Fitzwarren.
“But he was the first person I’d ever loved. In my heart I thought perhaps he’d change.
“But he was jealous and paranoid. He wouldn’t let me talk to his men friends and accused me of cheating.
“He put me through three hours of hell. I thought I was going to die.
“I’m glad he’s in prison – he deserves it.”
Mrs Hillyard advises domestic violence victims to “get out before it’s too late”.
She said: “Get help.
“It’s hard to understand until you’ve been in the situation, but the longer you stay, the more you’re at risk.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “When I meet domestic abuse survivors I often hear of the struggle they go through to leave their partner and the emotional turmoil they experience of a loving partner one minute to someone who is brutal the next.
“It is very brave of Kat to speak out about her experience and to go to the police - not everyone is confident enough to do that.”
Ms Mountstevens has championed the support of domestic abuse victims and highlighted the appointment of an independent domestic violence advisor at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, and experts across Somerset who can point victims towards support services.
She added: “By offering the right support we can hopefully help domestic abuse survivors re-build their life after the nightmare of their experience.”