"It breaks your heart when a child tries to comfort you because he or she knows you're upset"
"For love nor money I would not leave because of my children."
So said an unnamed male victim of domestic abuse on High Noon this morning, as he looked to bring light to the issue nationally.
He suffered repeated psychological abuse while married to his wife, and was subjected to constant comparisons to other men and other marriages.
"You think, for your children, 'maybe it'll get better, maybe if I keep the house clean, maybe if I offer to do the ironing on my day off'", he said.
He said he felt "exhausted" as he was constantly handing over the money to her, and would jump whenever his phone went off.
"My mother used to say 'oh you were just trying to buy her love'. If I wanted to have any kind of intimacy, I would have to pay for a night away, pay for a nice meal ... And it had to be a nice hotel, it couldn't be a B&B."
His children were his anchor throughout the ordeal, citing them as the primary reason that he did not leave sooner.
"They could pick up on it [the abuse]", he said. "They're like sponges.
"It breaks your heart when a child tries to comfort you because he or she knows you're upset, and they're giving you a hug because they know daddy's upset. Your esteem is at rock bottom. You feel worthless, fat and lazy - even though you're working 50 hours a week. They give you a compliment, and your self esteem is so low because you were never complimented.
The victim turned to the AMEN helpline - calling the free service a "life saver" - because he couldn’t bear being apart from his children. He currently has a court order allowing access to his children.
"With AMEN, hopefully we can get a bit more respect as victims", he said.
All this week in Newstalk and COSC - National Office for the Prevention of Domestic Sexual and Gender Biased Violence - are campaigning to increase the awareness of domestic and sexual violence.
If you have been affected by anything mentioned in this article, you can call the COSC helpline on 046 902 3718.