A Melbourne, Australia woman has spoken out about the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, who during one incident left her with a brain hemorrhage after he allegedly beat her with a meat tenderizer.
Sokha Nuon, 34, met auto-electrician John Grima in 2012, when she took her car to the garage. The 39-year-old asked her out, and the two became serious very quickly, with Nuon moving into Grima's home only a few weeks after they met, according to the Daily Mail.
"He was a real gentleman," Nuon said. "Always opening doors and giving me compliments."
But according to Nuon, Grima's gentle ways didn't last. While looking at photos Nuon had posted on Instagram before the two started dating, Grima found a selfie that exposed Nuon's cleavage in a low-cut shirt.
"He angrily asked me, 'Who have you sent that to?'" Nuon recalled. "I told him 'no one' but he was enraged. Eventually I calmed him down, but the selfie became his obsession."
One day, while picking up Nuon from her job at a retirement home, Nuon said Grima became violent.
"He thought I was sending photos to someone while I was at work," said Nuon. "Then he head-butted me in the nose."
From there, Nuon said the situation only continued to worsen.
"I was avoiding my friends and family," she said. "John was obsessively clean. I would spend hours mopping floors and polishing, only to be shouted at by John saying it wasn’t good enough."
Eventually, Nuon sought help and got a family violence intervention order against Grima. But when Grima contacted her on Facebook and apologized, she decided to give him another chance.
In April 2013, Grima allegedly attacked Nuon again, this time punching her until she fell to the ground, and then beating her with a meat tenderizer, leaving her with scars and heavy bruising. She said he held her in the bedroom for days, only letting her out to clean.
On the fourth night of her captivity, Nuon managed to escape, running out of the yard and jumping the fence. She asked neighbors for help, and they brought her to the police, who then called an ambulance for her. Later at the hospital, she was found to have a brain hemorrhage from the beatings.
In 2014, Grima pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury, as well as a charge of contravening a family violence intervention order. He was sentenced to six years of jail time.
Nuon said she is still recovering but wanted to share her story to help others avoid the same situation.
One in three women has been a victim of some form of physical violence by a partner in their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
"I’m telling my story to warn other women about staying with a violent partner," Nuon said, according to the Daily Mail. "Walk away the first time he hits you. That’s what I wish I’d done."