A SURVIVOR of horrendous domestic abuse has revealed how she feared her partner would kill her and says that the Women's Aid service in Greenock saved her life.

The charity in Inverclyde offers vital emotional and practical help to victims fleeing domestic violence all year round.

One of them has bravely spoken to the Tele about her experiences, which included her partner slashing her and trying to mow her down in his car on two occasions.

Brenda - her name has been changed to protect her identity - finally left her abusive partner fearful of her life in the summer.

The mum, who is in her mid-40s, was fortunate to have family support and didn't need to live in a refuge but she is getting support from the service which is helping her to move on with her life.

Before she met her partner Brenda was outgoing, had a good job, lots of friends and a teenage son who was happy and confident.

At first her new boyfriend seemed perfect but the relationship soon descended into a spiral of controlling behaviour and abuse.

Fast forward three years and she is having to rebuild her life.

Brenda said: "I have no confidence, no self-worth and at times I feel suicidal and fearful of who to trust.

"I am always looking over my shoulder.

"When I go out in my car, I check all the number plates and I always park in a public place.

"On good days you feel you can deal with life but on bad days, one thing can trigger a snowfall effect."

Brenda suffered years of mental abuse and goading and severe physical abuse.

She said: "I had scars on my head, slashes to my feet, my legs were black and blue with bruises.

"He hit me in places where people couldn't see but mentally no-one knows what is going on inside your head."

Brenda lost her friends and her independence as she was forced to give up work.

She said: "He called me fat and ugly and said that I slept around.

"He followed me to work and claimed I was sleeping with someone there, he undermined everything."

She tried to leave many times and called the police.

Brenda said: "A couple of times I got him removed from the house but he always came back and asked why I had called them and what did I say to them."

She eventually left for good because she feared if she stayed she would have ended up dead.

Brenda said: "I left because he was going to kill me.

"He tried to run me over twice in his car and anytime I tried to escape he blocked by access of escape."

She fled with her son, left with only the clothes they stood up in, her handbag and her son with his mobile phone.

Brenda said: "I fled for my life. He was arrested at the time which gave me the time I needed to escape."

She says Women's Aid saved her life and gave her the strength to go on.

She said: "If it wasn't for Women's Aid I don't think I wouldn't be here."

Her priority is her son who has been damaged very badly by the toxic relationship.

Brenda said: "He didn't come out of his bedroom for a couple of years.

"A couple of weeks ago he was suicidal and we are trying to emergency help for his health and wellbeing.

"He is being supported by specialist services.

"I feel guilty."

"The future is to survive and to see my boy flourishing again and back to education and rebuild my family.

"My main priority is my boy but I have to be strong first to support him."

Val Shepherd, of Inverclyde Women's Aid, says Brenda has been helped emotionally and practically and this will continue to prepare her for a court case.

The charity offers a wide range of services to help people to rebuild their lives.

There is a dedicated Children's and Young Person's service and an outreach schene to help women in the community to maintain tenancies and access services.

Inverclyde Women's Aid also provide a counselling service for women struggling with the impact domestic abuse has had on their lives.

The CEDAR Project (Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery) assists children to rebuild their relationships with their mothers.

There is also a Sexual Abuse Service supporting survivors of rape, sex assaults and child abuse.

The local office is based at 9 George Square.

For more information call 888505.

Pictured are Lorna Shaw, assessment worker, and Val Shepherd sexual abuse worker.