A senior constable on trial for family violence charges said he went to a police station the day after a final argument with his wife which became violent, and "asked for help".
He claimed she became violent towards him and he was trying to restrain her, while giving evidence today at Auckland District Court.
"I was trying to restrain her...and I was fearful for how [my son] and I were exposed to this," he said.
A protection order was served on her without notice and that was effectively the end of their seven-year marriage, the jury heard.
The police officer, who has name suppression, denies six charges relating to family violence and child cruelty against his former wife and her son, some dating back 18 years.
He claimed his ex-wife "flew" at him and scratched his face in multiple different arguments in their relationship.
"We were ready to go to [her family's] farm. We had an argument and she flew at me and started scratching my face about whatever we were arguing about," he said about one incident near Christmas.
"I decided I wasn't going to go looking like that, having to explain that to her family on Christmas."
On an ACC claim form produced as evidence he wrote "restraining my wife from a violent episode. Already has been referred to police".
His former wife alleged the police officer kicked her while she was pregnant and dragged her by her hair among other violent episodes.
He "categorically" denied all charges.
"I was always defending. She was always flying and attacking at me," he said.
He said he couldn't "function at work" and struggled with mental health.
The Crown alleged he inflicted "psychological and physical abuse" on his former stepson over a prolonged period of time during his "formative" years.
He denied this.
The trial before Judge Pippa Sinclair has been set down for three weeks.