A DOMESTIC abuse victim who tried to take his own life twice after struggling to get consistent support is urging other people to talk to someone about their problems before it's too late.

A middle-aged Swindon man who will remain anonymous spoke to the Adver about the verbal and physical attacks he claims to have suffered when his marriage turned violent.

Once happily married, he is now going through a tough divorce and has not seen his children for two years after leaving his wife for his own safety.

At his lowest point, he considered suicide before a good Samaritan saved his life.

He said: "I was standing on a bridge but someone came up to me and comforted me, then I walked away from the bridge, sat on the kerb and cried.

"It was a normal marriage and a normal family for years, I was the house husband and worked at night while she worked during the day, she looked after the bills and I looked after the kids. Then in 2014, it all changed.

"I think she was being bullied at work and took her frustration out on me. I tried to support her but she said I didn’t understand.

"Imagine you’re like an iceberg but there’s slowly someone chipping away at you, it's awful.

"She swore at me, told me to kill myself, said I was a bad father, then it got physical. She smacked me, gouged my neck, kicked me between the legs and barricaded me into a room and my brother had to come and get me out.

"So I said ‘hit me again and I’m leaving’, she smacked me in the mouth, I told her ‘I’m done’ and moved out when she went on holiday with the children."

He then started a course of anti-depressants and began therapy - but three months later, his counsellor had to stop seeing him because his ex-wife became another client.

When the victim heard that this counsellor was the only one available, his health deteriorated and he tried again to take his life - but his brother found him on the floor and called 999.

He went to his MP for help, who suggested Mind, which has made a significant difference, as has its Self-Harmony group.

He added: "Mind have been very helpful. I hurt myself when I feel hopeless and angry about my situation because I feel like there’s not much support for male victims of domestic violence.

"I’ve spoken to other male survivors and they have the same problems. It feels like I can’t get consistent support and it’s hard to see anything getting better."

The Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service helped him find a place to live after he left the family home, he has returned to work part-time after being signed off because of his mental health woes, and hopes to move forward with his life.

But unsuccessful attempts to tell the police about his ex-wife's alleged crimes have left him despondent.

He added: "I’m a proud man, so it was difficult to walk into a police station, say I need help, tell complete strangers what happened and show pictures of what she did to me. Apparently it wasn't in the public interest to bring charges.

"She then goes to them with nothing, twists the story to make it seem like she’s the victim, and they take her side and she gets what she wants.

"Anyway, now I just need to move on with my life, make a new start and hopefully see the children, if the courts allow it. The hardest bit was leaving my kids behind but I send cards and like paying to support them."

For other people going through similar problems, the survivor has one simple piece of advice - don't suffer in silence.

He added: "I was a doorman so people saw a tough bloke but they didn’t know what was really going on.

"I would urge people in my situation to talk to someone. I didn’t, I was at rock bottom, it’s a horrible place to be, I didn’t know where to go, but that innocent bystander on the bridge showed me what to do.

"I’m still here, the medication keeps me calm, I have a bit of support, and seeing the next day is a big improvement from where I used to be."

The Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service has a 24/7 helpline on 01793 610610 (swadomesticabuse.org) and Samaritans is on 116123 or jo@samaritans.org

National charities that specifically help male domestic abuse victims include ManKind (01823 334244) and the Men's Advice Line (0808 8010327).