Her husband took a picture of her in 1992 and said to her, “This is the last night you’re going to live…”

At 61 years old, Judy Sharp from Brisbane has a life-changing story that she’s ready to share to inspire others. Her then-husband, Mick*, never failed to give her flowers every Friday, 52 weeks a year. While it may seem like a gesture of love, for Judy, it was a frightening reminder of her controlled and unhappy life.

Not every act of giving is an act of love; some are methods of control,” explains Judy.

Things got worse after the birth of their two sons. Mick became so paranoid that Judy was unfaithful, he would tape up the front and back doors to check if they had been tampered with. But what hurt her the most was being accused of being a bad mother.

On one fateful night, Mick took a picture of Judy and their sons, telling her that it would be the last night she’d be alive so that the boys would have a memory of her. Judy’s screams interrupted his threatening actions. The next morning, taking advantage of his absence, she fled with her sons.

In the whirlwind of emotions and thoughts, Judy had to find a new place to live. Her son Tim has severe autism, making shelters an unviable option. She withdrew money for a deposit and a week’s rent, and then they left.

“As soon as I walked into that new house, it felt like a mountain had been lifted from my shoulders,” Judy recalls.

Years passed, and the pain inflicted by Mick remained a dark chapter in their lives. Judy took it upon herself to ensure that her sons wouldn’t inherit their father’s traits.

“Being kind is the most important quality one can have,” she told them.

Her two sons thrived: Sam, 30 years old, came close to reaching the Olympics as a swimming coach, while Tim, 32 years old, became a successful artist.

Judy is determined to share her story, especially on the anniversary of their escape, as a beacon of hope for others in similar situations. A few years ago, she found and shared the haunting photo taken by Mick, to forcefully remind everyone that domestic violence is never acceptable.

“No child should have to grow up in anything less than a nurturing and loving environment,” emphasizes Judy.

She wants those still trapped in abusive relationships to know that they are not alone and that life can indeed get better.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are not alone; we made it, and so can you,” assures Judy.

*The name Mick has been changed for privacy reasons.

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