DESPITE more than 20 years of abuse, Ms A was so psychologically damaged that she refused to leave her husband.
Like many victims of domestic violence, she had become conditioned to believing that she was in a relationship that was not only inescapable, but normal.
It was only the discovery that her husband had been visiting prostitutes and dogging, or public sex, sites that finally persuaded her she should leave.
She later found out that he had given her a sexually transmitted infection.
And, worse, that he had been visiting child pornography websites of the most extreme kind on the home computer that he had banned her from using.
We’re keeping Ms A’s identity anonymous because her ex-husband was never prosecuted for his offences.
But she wanted to speak out to encourage other domestic violence victims that they do not have to suffer in silence.
“The hardest thing you can do is pick up the phone to tell someone” she said.
“But it could be the best thing you do. These people are trained to deal with someone who can’t explain what they are experiencing. They are there to listen to you.
“You don’t have to feel you are a victim to ring those people.”
According to West Yorkshire Police records, there were 134 older victims of domestic violence, people over 65, in Kirklees last year.
Anecdotal evidence from the Pennine Domestic Violence Group suggests the numbers are growing.
Ms A, now in her 50s, had known her husband-to-be for a matter of months before they married in 1984.
He had been “wonderful” up to that point, but the problems started soon after.
“It started without me knowing it,” Ms A said.
“He changed when we bought our first house, but in a way that I believed was right.
“This was my second marriage and he made me believe that what I didn’t feel was right was because of my bad experience with the first marriage.”
Her husband started to behave violently towards the children she had from her first marriage, but convinced her it was good parenting.
He isolated her from friends and family, constantly demanding to know who she was with and why she wanted to spend time with other people.
He would hand out orders about what she could wear and where she could go.
Ms A said: “You are conditioned to believe that everything they say to you is true – they pick up on your vulnerability.
“You take on board whatever is happening in your relationship, so you are isolated from everyone else.”
As time went by, she became fearful of wearing the wrong clothes or putting make-up on.
But he would always say he was sorry and make her feel like it was in the past.
“I thought I could change him, that I could make him a better person,” she said.
Their problems worsened, however, when they became financially bankrupt as the result of a series of bad business decisions.
When her children left home, Ms A became more isolated and more of a target for her husband’s abuse.
After years of being undermined, she started to realise deep down that the relationship was not right.
But it was only the shocking revelations about what he was doing during regular trips out of the house that convinced her to leave.
She said: “My son found out he was visiting prostitutes and dogging sites.
“I went for a sexual health check and found out he had given me something.
“I had to go and get myself sorted out. “When I confronted him about it he said I had given it to him.”
Her husband claimed he had been out bird watching and had been looking for a job interview when he was spotted kerb crawling.
Vile images of child sex abuse were then discovered on the home computer.
“My son had to show me them to get me to believe what my husband had been doing,” Ms A said.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
After leaving the house, in 2006, the police became involved and put Ms A in touch with the police’s domestic violence unit.
They gave her details to domestic violence charity Women’s Aid, who in turn arranged for her to meet a support worker from the Sanctuary scheme in Kirklees, which provides home security for victims.
Her husband was given an injunction to prevent him from approaching her, but criminal charges were never pursued because of a lack of evidence against him.
They divorced in 2007.
Ms A later found out her ex-husband had abused his first wife as well.
She is now starting to get her life back on track, working part-time in sales and looking for a new house.
She said: “I get giddy because I can get up, do what I want, when I want, be myself. And there’s no-one going to turn round and tell me that’s not me. I have had to learn to love myself again, because I didn’t know who I was.”
An information stall about domestic violence aimed at older people is at Civic Centre One in Huddersfield today. There is also an event from 10am at the United Reform Church at High Street in Heckmondwike.
Pennine Domestic Violence Group can be contacted, for free, on 0800 052 7222.