Kay Schubach would scramble for the landline while she was being beaten in her own home but her abuser would pull it out of the socket.
He would go through her mobile phone regularly to find out what she was up to.
Such cases have prompted the NSW government to launch a discreet smartphone app for victims of domestic violence.
The Aurora domestic violence app has a "message friends" section allowing users to quickly send an SMS to a trusted friend or family member when they are feeling threatened.
It has a choice of three in-built messages - "call me", "come and pick me up" and "call the police for me" - that can be instantly communicated in emergencies with three quick touches on a phone pad.
The app also allows users to customise texts to include a secret codeword shared only with a trusted friend or relative.
"My abuser almost killed me in my own home," Ms Schubach said.
"This would have been a life saver for me.
"I could have called emergency services quickly or I could have sent a message to one of my friends."
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said the app had GPS-locating so police would know where the call was coming from.
"Given the prevalence of domestic violence within our community, particularly in NSW, this is an initiative that we strongly support," Mr Murdoch said.
The NSW Domestic Violence Line received more than 22,000 calls from people seeking support in 2011/12.
An estimated 10 million Australians own smartphones.
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