Childhood horror Jordan Conroy reveals he and his mum 'fled for our lives from knife-wielding dad'
'It [the abuse] was from the ages of six to 10,' Jordan tells the Sunday World. 'I dealt with that for four years'
Brave Jordan Conroy has opened up for the first time about how he and his mother were forced to flee for their lives from his knife-wielding father, who threatened to stab them to death after years of violent abuse.
The Dancing With The Stars sensation was regularly beaten by his sadistic dad - especially when heroic Jordan tried to intervene to stop his mum Jennie being battered by the thug.
Rugby player Jordan (27) represented Ireland last year at the Olympics in Tokyo and was stunned when his mum revealed in a recent documentary the abuse she and her two children suffered at the hands of her husband while living in Germany.
She said her life completely changed when she noticed that her son had been hit by her ex-husband.
"I remember coming home one day and Jordan had slightly changed. That's when my world fell apart," Jennie said in a video for World Rugby Sevens sponsors HSBC.
"My ex-husband had hit Jordan in the playground in front of everyone. It escalated and it got very bad.
"One night he broke into the house and I woke up and he was standing over me with a knife. He said 'if I can't have you, no one will have you'.
"Jordan screamed his lungs out. He saved us because people got the police."
After a court case Jennie and her kids moved back to her home county of Offaly.
"It [the abuse] was from the ages of six to 10," Jordan tells the Sunday World. "I dealt with that for four years.
"There was one night when he trapped my mother with a knife so she couldn't get anywhere and I was at the sitting room door and she just whispered to me 'I'm going to hold him, I'm going grab him, then you run upstairs to the neighbours and call the police'.
"I remember my heart racing. She grabbed him and said 'Go, run Jordan, run Jordan', so I started crying running up the stairs of the apartment block to the neighbours and pleading with them to call the police.
"I remember afterwards her nose being bloody and her white T-shirt being full of blood. That was the turning point to say 'we need to leave'. I was aged about eight."
Jordan says he was surprised at his dedicated mother publicly revealing their suffering.
"I didn't know she was going to share that," he confirms. "She didn't tell me what she was talking about and I didn't tell her what I was talking about, so when I saw the video being posted I was like 'oh wow, you literally opened up that can'.
"It just brought back some memories. I guess it was time to share that story. I got a lot of great feedback, but it surprised me there was a lot of feedback from women, saying 'oh my god, your mum is so strong, and I have [been] going through the same thing'."
He is full of praise for his mother.
"It's crazy to think where we have come from. She could easily have been just trapped there by him and manipulated by him," he says.
"When you're being abused, you are literally in a trap and it just takes a lot to get up and leave and I'm just glad and happy she did.
"I don't think I'd be here today doing these kind of things with the rugby or even the TV show or even made it to the Olympics if we had stayed in Germany."
Jordan will be performing a cha-cha-cha tonight with pro dance partner Salome Chachua, having impressed judges in earlier episodes with a salsa and quickstep.
Dancing With The Stars is on RTÉ 1 at 6.30pm.
Groups dealing with domestic violence can be reached on the following freephone numbers: National Helpline (women) 1800341900; Male Advice Line 1800816588; Childline 1800666666.
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