'I never thought my life could be this good': Mother, 32, who physically abused husband for SEVEN years after vodka binges tells how his forgiveness saved her life
Emma Bushen, 32, turned to alcohol after the birth of her first childMother of three would down vodka before turning on husband JamesChildren taken into care by social services
James, 34, eventually asked Emma to leave and she moved in to flat alone and continued drinking
Two years later, Emma attempted suicide by overdose – but James called 999
James took Emma back and the two are now tee-total''I will never drink again,' says Emma. 'I never thought my life could be this good'
18:50 GMT, 21 September 2012
Blocked out: Emma Bushen says she has no memory of the violent attacks she inflicted upon her husband after drinking vodka
A woman who abused her husband for seven years has spoken out on This Morning to warn others trapped in violent relationships to get help.
Emma Bushen, 32, physically attacked her partner James on a regular basis over a seven year period – until her onslaughts became so vicious and so frequent that he finally asked her to leave.
Emma, who has three children with James, says the violence began after the birth of her first child seven years ago – but that until then, she had never been victim to violence, nor experienced violent behaviour as a child growing up.
'I was rebellious as a teenager, but never violent to anybody,' she told Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes on This Morning today. 'There was no violence in my own family.'
But when Liam, now seven, was born, Emma says she was left exhausted – and turned to drink.
'It all changed with the drink – it made me violent,' she says.
'He never slept through the night until he was three,' she said. 'I was so tired I started having a couple of drinks at night time.
'I've always liked a drink, but it got to be more and more, then I started being violent.'
'I don't remember ever hurting James. Where I'd drunk so much, it was blocked out,' she says.
'The next morning, James would wake me up and say, “look what you've done”'
'I really couldn't remember.'
Emma, from Maidstone in Kent, admits that it wasn't only James who felt her wrath. Her friends too would suffer when she'd had a drink.
'I'd hurt my friends as well -but only when I'd had a drink,' she says.
As time went by and Emma's behaviour worsened, she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and put on medication.
'My doctors advised me not to drink because the tablets wouldn't work – but I carried on drinking,' she said.
'I think that was why my behaviour was more irrational – it was a combination of the drink and the tablets,' she says.
Her bricklayer husband James, who has suffered immeasurably at her hands, has supported her throughout – and the two are now back together.
'James has been brilliant,' she says. 'He has always stood by me.'
Emma says that during the time she was violent to him, he never told his friends and family in order to protect her.
Ashamed: Liz Ostrowski from the Domestic Violence Intervention Project said many men are too embarrassed to tell anyone they are being abused, but Emma, right, urges them to seek help
'He would wake up and say, “you bit me, you scratched me,” but I wouldn't believe it.
'Because my friends were
drinkers too, if I asked them what I did they would say it wasn't that
bad – they were drinkers and wanted me to carry on drinking.'
Appearing on the sofa with Emma, Liz Ostrowski from the Domestic Violence Intervention Project said there is a large number of men out there too embarrassed to confess that they are victims of domestic abuse.
'Of the 400 perpetrators that are referred or come to us seeking help, two per cent are women; she says. But, she says, many do not tell authorities, friends or family.
'James was totally embarrassed by all of it,' Emma agrees.
'He didn't want to tell his family cos didn't want them to think badly of me,'
Now that they are back together, Emma says she will never drink again.
'We couldn't bear our lives to fall back into that cycle of alcohol and violence,' she says. 'We are putting our lives back together.
'James knew it wasn't me, it was the alcohol. He had faith in me.'
Indeed, James found it in his heart to forgive Emma and take her back.
Emotional: Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford were touched by Emma's sad tale – with Eamonn moved to give her a hug, saying,' I know the whole story, and what you've been through'
'I reached rock bottom in October
last year after I lost the kids and was given a flat on my own. Social
services took the children.
'I took an overdose. I didn't want to be here any more.
'James called the police – he hadn't heard from me.
'When I came round, I thought, “I want my family back, I want my life back.'
Emma has now been sober for over a year and says she could never have imagined being this happy.
'My life now is better than I could have ever expected it to be.
'I want to say to people in my situation, you don't want a lonely life with alcohol, or violence. There is help out there, so go and get help'
Visit itv.com/thismorning for information on helplines that can assist with issues relating to domestic violence.