When Kay Schubach met Simon Lowe in a Sydney cafe in 2003, she says it was like a “love bomb” erupted.
Handsome, charismatic, perceptive; within a matter of days he had swept the successful financial manager into an intoxicating, insular world of passion, gifts, sex and romance.
Within a matter of weeks, he tried to strangle her.
“I think now if I saw him on the street I would definitely have a physical reaction – I think I’d have a heart attack,” she tells Mamamia. “I’ve seen him on CCTV and it’s still really powerful because he’s one dangerous man.”
Schubach is not the so-called Playboy Rapist’s only victim.
Simon Lowe, who now goes by Bonito Monteiro (a name he tells women is Portuguese for “beautiful hunter”) is currently behind bars, having been jailed for 12 years in 2009 after he bashed, raped and threatened his ex-girlfriend over the course of 12 months.
In 2003, he was given a good behaviour bond after he stalked another woman and attempted to suffocate her with a pillow.
Monteiro's victims are among the one in six Australian women who have experienced violence at the hands of a partner since the age of 15.
Until she became one of them, it was a world Kay Schubach had never known.
"I've been in really healthy, supportive relationships all my life, including with my family, so when he came along I had no defences, no terminology," the 53-year-old tells Mamamia. "I was like a bunny in the spotlight."