A MAN has told how he was scarred for life after his controlling ex-girlfriend slashed his face with a knife and battered him with a red-hot frying pan in a horrific attack.
Matt Kite, 55, is "lucky to be alive" after his partner Helen Fraser, 52, missed a major artery with the blade by just millimeters.
The domestic abuse survivor has now bravely decided to speak out to raise awareness for other male victims after Fraser was handed a 20-month suspended sentence for the assault in April.
"For years, Helen made my life a living hell," Matt from Hailsham, East Sussex, explained. "Every morning, I didn’t know what I’d wake up to."
"She had an awful temper and would make me feel worthless.
"Her sentence is appalling. I’m sure if a man would have inflicted the same violence on a woman, they’d see jail time," he continued.
"I just want other men to know they’re not alone and not to be ashamed to speak out against their abusers."
The pair first met each other when they were kids and reconnected on Facebook in 2012.
After rekindling their friendship, they headed on their first date in November 2015 and hit it off.
"At first, Helen was a ray of sunshine. I’d spend every weekend with her and we got on like a house on fire," Matt said.
But when the couple decided to move in together three years later, cracks began to show between the childhood pals.
"Helen would yell at me if I hadn’t done the washing up and nothing was ever good enough for her."
The 55-year-old even quit his job to act as Fraser's full-time carer and help her cope with her mobility issues – seeing him chauffeur her around during the day to run errands and cook dinner each night.
Matt continued, "Over time, Helen made me feel worthless and would complain if I went out to see friends and family.
"She’d call me useless and wore me down. Eventually, I fell into depression."
Fraser then began drinking heavily towards the end of their relationship – sometimes guzzling up to 15 cans of beer a day – and the pair were even sleeping in separate rooms.
In August 2019, Matt took himself off to bed after Fraser moaned about the mess in the house, but her anger didn't subside.
"The next thing I remember was Helen on top of me, straddling me," he recalled. "Her weight crushed down on me."
“Then I saw a glimmer of silver. She was holding a six-inch knife. Terrified, I managed to wrestle it out of her hand."
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, where you call 999 and press ‘55’ if you can’t safely speak.
- Always keep some money or a bank card on you, including change in case you need a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to move towards an exit if you are inside the house and get your phone in case you need to call for help.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other potential weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm or email [email protected]
SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Fraser then stumbled off the bed and ran out of the room, giving Matt the opportunity to stash the knife in a sock drawer with hopes that would be the end of her violent outburst.
Yet she soon returned armed with a serrated kitchen knife and began a ferocious attack on her boyfriend.
"Before I could act, she lunged at me, slicing at my face. As the blade tore through my skin, pain shot through me.
"I screamed at her and put my hands up to protect my face."
"SHE COULD HAVE KILLED ME"
Matt eventually managed to fight her off before she fled – but Frazer unbelievably returned just minutes later, apologising and telling Matt she loved him.
He crawled back into bed and ended up passing out with his horrific injuries before waking up the next morning feeling dazed.
Matt said: "I was barely able to get out of bed, so spent the day dozing.
"Helen came into the room and offered to make me a fry-up. But something didn’t feel right."
Fraser suddenly stormed into the room with a red-hot frying pan and knocked him to the floor after she swung it at his face as he tried to escape.
"I yelled out in pain as it hit my head. Then she smashed it across my bare back. I felt the hot metal scorch my skin. It was excruciating."
He fell unconscious during the savage assault and woke to a police officer at his side in Worthing Hospital, who told him Fraser had called 999 and had been taken into custody.
"The police officer told me I was lucky to be alive as the knife wound on my forehead was just millimetres from a major artery," Matt explained.
"I couldn’t believe she’d nearly killed me."
He received stitches and dressings for his burns and was discharged.
Matt was originally hesitant to press charges against his partner, but agreed to testify after police told him they intended to prosecute her anyway.
Matt said: "I knew Helen needed to be punished for what she’d done. But when the police charged her, she denied attacking me.
"I was disgusted."
Helen Fraser later admitted to wounding with intent in April this year and was given a 20-month suspended sentence at Lewes Crown Court.
"Her sentence was a joke," Matt declared. "She could have killed me."
"No abuser, no matter their sex, should get away with violence. Helen was such a toxic person I’m glad she’s out of my life."
The domestic abuse survivor is now in a "healthy relationship with a kind, caring woman who treats me as an equal."
"I hope I never see Helen’s face again," he said.
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