Without their help I'd be dead: domestic violence survivor
SHE was sure she would die if she stayed with her violent ex-husband, and says lawyers representing her saved her life.
A Sunshine Coast woman, who can't be identified to protect her safety and that of her daughter, considered suicide after her violent former partner's "relentless" threats and constant legal challenges in the years after she left him.
She had been granted legal aid but four sets of lawyers withdrew or stopped acting for her out of concern for their own safety.
Her former partner received a custodial sentence for stalking one of these representatives.
The Suncoast Community Legal Service took on the woman's complicated case and won.
"It's like saving my life, how they helped me," the woman said.
"I nearly gave up so many times."
"I know if I lived with him I would die.
"That's how you know - when you hit rock bottom you know you have to run."
She left him, fleeing with her baby daughter while he left them briefly alone in the house.
The woman was saddened by news that the service's case work would reduce.
"They didn't give up on me and didn't abandon me," she said.
"They still stick up for me.
"I've survived now but there's a lot of people out there who need help.
"So many people go through that same situation."