Warning: Triggering content.
A young woman has revealed how her abusive ex-boyfriend bashed and raped her, handing her a "life sentence" of severe anxiety and panic attacks — while he could walk free from jail in just two years.
Shannon Wall recalls the torment and suffering she experienced at the hands of her controlling ex-partner of four years, Mitchell Walsh.
She says she still wakes up screaming in the middle of the night after years of being locked in her Perth home by Walsh.
During their relationship, Wall says he was never physically abusive but tormented her in other ways.
"He would deadbolt the front door so I couldn't get out, he'd lock me in rooms," she recalled to Channel 9's A Current Affair. "He just isolated me. I was cut off from my friends. I didn't see my family. I had nowhere to go."
She said Walsh ensured she had "no options" until the feeling of being a prisoner in her own home became too much.
"The night that I left for good, I had to message my mum quickly while he wasn't looking and ask her to call police, and the police came and removed me from the house," she said.
"I just knew that I couldn't go back there after that, I just knew that it wasn't right."
Shannon moved into a ninth-floor apartment with her new partner Adam, hoping she left the terror behind her — but then Walsh contacted her over messages one day to pick up her belongings from the apartment they once shared.
"He seemed all right and I agreed to meet him at 7pm that night at McIver train station. Adam was asleep when I left," she told A Current Affair.
"When we got there, we went inside and he went to the kitchen and started pulling down the blinds and I was just standing up next to the couch and he walked over to me and told me to sit down and I asked him, 'Why?'" she said.
"And he just punched me in the head here, and I fell back on the couch and then he was on top of me with a knife in my face and saying, 'Did you really think that I wouldn't hurt you?'"
She looked him in the eye as she said she knew what he was about to do and asked him, "Please don't," but he hit her and choked her with a bag strap before sexually assaulting her.
"And when that was over he pushed me away and said, 'Put your clothes back on,'" she said.
"After I got dressed we went to the car and he wanted to go to the apartment I was living at with Adam."
Walsh, armed with a 30cm kitchen knife, drove them both to Shannon and Adam's apartment building.
"At the traffic lights I looked at him and he punched me in the mouth and my tooth chipped his hand, I just remember blood going everywhere," she said.
Walsh watched over her shoulder as she texted her boyfriend and hid out of view of the security camera. When Adam, who was still asleep, came to let her into their apartment
Walsh leapt in front of Shannon swinging the blade at the shocked boyfriend.
"I really can't describe the feeling, I couldn't warn him or anything, I thought he was going to get stabbed," she said.
Before she knew it, the two men were rolling on the floor, fighting over the knife.
"Somehow Adam got him on the floor and they just started rolling around, wrestling over this knife."
Not knowing what was going on through her head, Shannon said she managed to escape down the fire escape and out onto the street where she flagged down a van, the occupants of which called the police.
However, by the time they arrived, Walsh had fled.
"Mitchell had gotten away, he took my phone, he took Adam's phone and a couple of other things and ran out the door and took our keys," she said.
Police soon found Walsh trying to hide evidence at his home, where they arrested him.
Walsh was convicted on charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, two counts of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary, stealing and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The WA Supreme Court sentenced Walsh to seven-and-a-half years in jail, however, he only has to serve four-and-a-half before becoming eligible for parole — meaning he could be free in 2020.
"The last two years have been like torture for me, and I guarantee it's going to take more of my life than that," Shannon said.
Shannon's current partner Guy, said she still suffered from the attack.
"We share the same bed and she wakes up screaming," he said.
"I might just be going to the shops to get some milk and she's in hysterics."
If you're in danger NOW:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault.
Where to go for help or more information:
• NZ Police
• Help Auckland 24/7 helpline 09 623 1700
• Rape Prevention Education
• Wellington Help 24/7 crisisline 04 801 6655, push 0
• Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz