'I was sure I was going to die that night... I never even admitted it on the Late Late' - Norah Casey on her abusive ex
Businesswoman and journalist Norah Casey has spoken about her brave decision to appear on The Late Late Show and reveal the truth about her abusive first husband.
Norah appeared on The Late Late Show on May 28 and spoke about how her first husband had physically and mentally abused her during their marriage.
Speaking to Ray D'Arcy on RTE Radio One today, Norah said that there were some parts of her past that she was too scared to her in public.
She spoke about the constant threat of violence and aggression she had to live with and spoke about the night she had to barricade herself into a room to escape her husband.
"I'm telling you... what I never even admitted on the Late Late is, I was sure I was going to die that night... he took a knife.
"He went for the kinife... okay... I'm going to be alright about this, give me two seconds".
Norah struggled to compose herself as she recalled the painful memories but bravely continued with her account.
She spoke about how on this particular evening, her husband decided to drive after having a few drinks. Norah didn't want to take any chances and walked home. When she arrived at the house he was asleep but he woke up when he heard her. He opened the door, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into the hallway where he "kicked and battered" her.
Norah never received any counselling but feels that she now has the power to be open about her experience in the hope that she can inspire victims of domestic abuse.
She told Ray that she never felt brave enough to admit the truth to her family and friends and she felt very alone in her situation.
To leave him and walk away from her marriage, she had to get to the point where she was prepared to be homeless.
Norah said she finally gained the strength to leave him on a Friday morning and spoke of the strength it took not to go back to him when he ended up in hospital with a burst oesophagus.
"He became a much bigger monster after I left him than he was when I was with him... When I was digging out photos for the Late Late I couldn't recognise the person that was me smiling next to him... we actually did have these happy times'.
Norah urged those listening that if they are suffering at the hands of domestic violence, to seek help; recalling the time she was first slapped against the car, she thought it would never happen again.
"I believed it would never happen again... Once he slaps you once, he'll never stop slapping."
Norah said the key to her recovery has been talking about it and she praised the work of domestic abuse charities like Women's Aid.
She said the best way to stop domestic violence is through talking about it and education in schools.
Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline is open seven days a week: 1800 341 900
For more information visit www.womensaid.ie