Domestic abuse survivor Jessica Bowes was incredible on the Late Late Show last night
"I hated my life. I did for a while, and now I love it."
Domestic abuse survivor Jessica Bowes has received much support online since her appearance on last night's Late Late Show.
The mother-of-three joined Ryan in the studio to discuss her decision to waive anonymity after a vicious attack from the father of her children left every bone in her face broken.
Living with the life-long physical and psychological effects of her assault, Jessica decided to tell her story to challenge the domestic abuse laws operating in Ireland at the time, and to raise awareness of the services available to women right now.
"I believe for anyone to leave a relationship that's toxic or abusive, there's three things that you really need," she said.
"You need to go and see a solicitor and get some advice and get some court intervention. You need Garda protection.
"And it's so important that you link in with an agency because the support that you get in the agency is actually life changing."
Survivor of domestic abuse, Jessica Bowes on life now and advice for people currently living with domestic abuse.
Women's Aid Helpline: 1800 341 900https://t.co/56WgHNXt8C#LateLate pic.twitter.com/S4QhQ7f8cI
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) March 23, 2019
Jessica said that she first thought that organisations like Women's Aid and Samaritans were only there to listen. She later realised the immense support that such groups can provide to those in need.
"Women's Aid are a helpline and they can listen to you, but the services they provide... They can help you. They have heard it all," she said."
"Whatever you're going to ring and say, it's not going to be a big shock to them. They've probably already helped someone in a similar situation.
"The services they can provide in terms of safety planning and court support and counselling, that's what you need. You need someone to listen to you and support you and believe you and that's exactly what you'll get when you pick up the phone."
We’re at the #LateLate Show waiting for Jessica Bowes @i_am_jessica_b and her interview with Ryan talking about surviving domestic violence and her determination to make Ireland a better place for women and children. #latelateshow @RTELateLateShow pic.twitter.com/zo82Qc6iS3
— Women's Aid Ireland (@Womens_Aid) March 22, 2019
Ryan asked Jessica whether she had hope for the future and she said yes.
She said that she used to have "every reason" to assume she could never manage on her own with three kids, but now her thinking has changed.
"We're so close," she said. "We do everything together, we have the best fun."
"There's no cloud over us, there's hopefully nobody ever going to show up at the door at three o'clock in the morning.
"I used to be going around with my head in a spin in a crisis from day-to-day, and I hated my life. I did for a while, and now I love it."
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this story you can contact Women's Aid on 1800 341 900.