“Men like that, they learn you; your emotions and your weaknesses. And they use that when they need, for example, forgiveness. Then, they somehow get into your head, and you are just: ‘yeah, he’s right, it won’t happen again’. And then you always go back to them. Because you think it’s not going to happen again, even though it’s happened a million times before. He promised and promised and promised endlessly. But nothing changed,” Kamilla told RÚV’s Kastljós programme last night.
When the sentence for the initial attack was handed down, the man had already been in custody for five months. The ruling said the attack at Reykjavík’s old town harbour had been especially vicious and showed a total indifference towards the girl’s life. Kamilla was 17 at the time and none of the security cameras at the harbour were recording the night of the attack—which was not to be his last on her.
The man received a 12-month sentence but served less than half of it. When time in custody was taken into account, it meant he was released from prison a few days after the court passed his sentence for the attack that left Kamilla with three broken bones in her face and an artificial bone replacement for life. She says her whole head was swollen up and that the only place she remembers not being in any pain was one of her buttocks.
The same man attacked Kamilla again this May after they got back together again.
“He lifted me up over his shoulders and threw me to the ground, so I headbutted the floor and lost consciousness for a little while from the force,” Kamilla says. There was a short tussle from which Kamilla tried to pull herself up onto the bed, “And then he takes me by the throat and I didn’t even fight back, I was just: ‘'okay, this is over then’. And then he held a knife to my throat and described what he would do if I ever left him. And what was that? Kill my family and me.”
Several days later, she gathered the strength to run from the man in the middle of the night.
What gave you the power to leave?
Really just the thought that I don’t intend to let my life run out before the age of 20.
You had decided it was that serious?
The interview with Kamilla and her mother, Helga Sæunn Árnadóttir, can be watched (in Icelandic) above.