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Tuesday
Feb092016

Dean's personal story

I met Sandra about 6 and a half years ago through a mate who I'd played rugby with. We had been in contact for some time, she seemed like a strong independent woman raising two kids after herself being in a violent relationship. We had spoken about her ex and the kids. I decided I'd come up and meet her in Brisbane. It was a whirlwind romance and pretty soon I moved in with her and her kids.

They lived above her parents, who had bought it and renovated so they had an affordable room over their heads. She had suffered from depression and took anti depressants. Soon after, maybe a couple of weeks she took her first of 4 drug overdoses. I came home, called an ambulance and saved her in time. I had left my email account open, I had nothing to hide and she found an email I sent to a girlfriend four years before.

The abuse started when she came home from hospital. I'd cheated, I'd lied, she drank heavily on weekends, the kids were often in the firing line, her verbal abuse was vicious and relentless, sometimes going for all week. I felt sort for the kids, we had bonded and I felt I should protect them.

I started doing research, the drugs she was prescribed were not to be mixed with alcohol. I'd asked how long had she drank with them, I was told her parents put her on the pills at around 13. I went to leave many times, but she always said she was sorry, she was ill she'd get help.

I haven't had a single week in all the time that she hasn't abused me, her children. I've protected those kids, taken the most of the abuse. She got pregnant and had our little girl, who is five soon. I lived in my car for 6 months of last year, work had been slow, I couldn't afford to maintain two places, if I didn't pay her, she wouldn't let me see my daughter.

I tried to get help to get her out of the situation, she has no control and every time she triggers, it could go for days. I've been there enough to know she escalates to the point of losing control. She kept on about us still being together, despite how many times I can't take anymore.

There is no help for men, there's no crisis centre. A friend gave me a place to live, but she has said he is now the reason we broke up, its all his fault. She didn't know where I live, but I went to a meeting with the principle at my daughter's school, she has started year one, Sandra got my address of the contact details and has been here many times, I've woken up with her sitting on my bed.

She has smashed her way in twice recently, once with my daughter with her and taken my phone and other things. She has driven her car at me and when I've tried to leave to head to the local police station, she has swerved and got in front of me slamming her brakes on, all with our child in the car.

Recently my grandmother died. I went down to my hometown to see her one last time, Sandra started sending abusive messages about my dirty weekend. I had planned to take my daughter down and stay for two weeks, she got a civil domestic violence order, it went to court the day of the funeral, I'd written a letter about my circumstance, they put a temporary order in place and she named my kids, her parents as well, so now I can't see Isabel until I get a court order.

She has and continues to make my life hell. Both her road rage incidents saw her self admit to the mental health ward. I've been to DOCS, about her drug use and mood swings, I've been to the police, no-one has helped. Even with her car door almost torn off, reported to police, nothing. I'm right on my limit, I cant take anymore. My daughter is in a dire situation and I am helpless. I just cant take anymore.

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