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Ireland Abuse survivor slams justice system after violent ex-husband walks free

15:58  12 june  2018
15:58  12 june  2018 Source:   extra.ie

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I am writing to tell my story – of how I have been a victim and survivor of repeated, relentless domestic violence – and to bring the weaknesses in the justice system and the general lack of knowledge in the community about domestic violence to your attention. I married my ex - husband in October of 2005

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a person posing for the camera © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Abuse survivor Caroline McKeon recalled the awful moment that her teenage daughter was ordered to clean up the mess after she was left in a pool of blood by her violent ex-husband.

Despite being choked, kicked, and having her nose broken after being hit off the floor, the brave mum has spoken out as she cannot believe her ex-husband walked free from court.

She was speaking out after David McKeon was given an 18-month suspended sentence, and ordered to abide by the supervision of the probation services for 12-months for his actions.

Speaking about their 20-year marriage, she told RTE’s Sean O’Rourke that everything changed when she found out he was having an affair and decided to confront him about it.

While he initially denied it, later that week the couple went for a Chinese to discuss what had been going on but later that night he assaulted her, leaving her in a puddle of blood with a broken nose.

‘His phone was turned upside down and I just happened to look across at his phone and he asked me did I want to check it. I said yes, so he handed me the phone. The girl that he was having the affair with, her number was on the top of the screen.’

‘He grabbed me and he threw me across the floor, and I hit my wrist and my right shoulder off the presses’, she said.

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a man sitting at a desk in front of a computer © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Noting the rage all over his face, she said that she ‘just knew’ that she was in trouble.

Recalling how he choked her and she felt like her eyes were going to pop and that she couldn’t breath, Caroline said he kicked her full force with his shoes on in her lower spine.

‘He grabbed me from behind, and lifted me up and slam dunked me off my face, literally hit the tiles, slam dunked me off the floor’.

David then got their children involved, telling his 13-year-old daughter to clean up Caroline’s blood and he left for two hours. The next day, he acted as if nothing had happened between them. Caroline spoke of needing surgery for her broken nose.

  Abuse survivor slams justice system after violent ex-husband walks free © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Caroline said she stayed in the house for a full week afterward, only confiding in her brother in law, saying ‘it was the hardest thing for me to say what happened’.

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Soon after, she went to Dolphin’s Housea free and confidential drop in service for women who are experiencing abuse in a relationship — and got an emergency barring order.

Deeming her ex-husband’s suspended sentence as ‘too lenient’, she said that she waited three years for justice and feels a custodial sentence should have been given to her attacker.

‘I thought it was far too lenient. I will always have the psychological effects of that night for the rest of my life and so will my children’.

Caroline said she can’t thank Women’s Aid enough for all of their work, ‘they were absolutely amazing… they couldn’t have done enough for me’.

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If you have been affected by domestic abuse and would like to talk, contact Women’s Aid on 1800 341 900 or Amen (for men) on 046 902 3718, or visit SafeIreland.ie.

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