Page last updated at 20:33 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 21:33 UK

Lit cigarettes 'put up my nose'

Ian McNicholl
A neighbour fianally reported the abuse to police

A man who suffered months of violence at the hands of his fiancee has spoken of his ordeal to help raise awareness of domestic abuse against men.

Michelle Williamson's attacks on Ian McNicholl included stubbing cigarettes on his chest, putting them up his nose and scalding him with boiling water.

In April she was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent and assault.

Mr McNicholl, 46, of Grimsby, said: "Her abuse knew no boundaries."

The former training consultant said he suffered one "isolated attack" in the early part of their relationship but the abuse began when Williamson moved into Mr McNicholl's Grimsby home.

'Absolute agony'

He said attacks usually began after Williamson, 34, asked him questions about previous relationships, or accused him of not telling her that he loved her often enough.

"It would result in assaults with a whole host of household weapons," he said.

"Having a kettle of water poured on your groin, having it re-boiled and poured on you again whilst you are in absolute agony has stayed in my mind and always will do.

"The worst case I was kept awake for three days with no food. Cigarettes were stubbed out on my chest, they were lit and put up my nostrils for the whole evening."

Michelle Williamson
Williamson was jailed at Grimsby Crown Court last month

The last attack was in April 2008, when Mr McNicholl said Williamson repeatedly hit him with a metal bar and a hammer.

He said: "My arm was so badly beaten that the hospital thought they were going to have to amputate my arm.

"It was just a horrendous ordeal and I am just so thankful for the neighbour who made an anonymous call [to the police] and the work the police did when they rescued me from my home."

Mr McNicholl said there was still a stigma attached to being a male victim of domestic violence.

He said: "Males do have to overcome the stereotype that society has of them that you are the stronger sex, why don't you leave, but I was ground down mentally and emotionally.

"The key message that I would like to get over is that help is there for people and if anybody, whether it be a work colleague, whether it be a neighbour, whether it be a friend or family, if you have any concerns at all about anyone who may be in a domestic violence situation, male or female, you can ring 999 or Crimestoppers or the local police.

"They will take over, they know what they are doing they have experienced people and they will extradite people from what is a horrific situation.

"And it's thanks to them that I am here today."

Man is scarred by domestic abuse

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