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Hi, I’m Simone O’Brien. I’m a mother, daughter, sister and a friend – just like many of you.

I’m also a victim and a survivor of a horrific domestic violence attack and I’m here to share my story, raise awareness of the issue and stop domestic violence from happening again.

My journey started in 2012. I suffered a horrific domestic violence attack at the hands of a perpetrator who would not take “no” for an answer. It started with emotional and psychological abuse, including telling lies, stealing money and insults. And it ended with me being beaten with a baseball bat to within inches of my life.

I totally didn’t see this coming as I wasn’t aware of the danger signs. My parents were informed that there was slim chance I would survive the night of the attack. My children were told to say their goodbyes.

But somehow, through my determination and the support of family and friends, I got through that night. So here I am today sharing my story, in between all the treatments, operations and therapies that I will have to go through for the rest of my life.

This incident has scarred me forever – I have lost my eyesight on my right side and my sense of smell. My skull is currently held together with screws and titanium plates. The ripple effect of this on my children has been unimaginable. Each day I’m reminded of the attack when I look in the mirror.

Before 2012, I was oblivious to domestic violence. I wish I had educated myself on this subject and learned about the red flags in a relationship to stop this from happening right at the start. But I didn’t and now I’m suffering the consequences. I believe there are many others out there just like the pre-2012 me who are unaware of the danger signs. This is the reason why I’m speaking today.

I want to raise awareness of domestic violence and give strength to victims to get out of violent relationships. I want to help people see the red flags and provide them the information they need to protect themselves and seek help if required.

Using my personal story of determination, resilience, courage and strength, I want to champion non-violence against women and children. Together, let’s stop domestic violence.

My story on A Current Affair

 

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