In January last year, I told Mamamia about the time the man I loved tried to kill me.
I’d been dating Simon Lowe, who now goes by Bonito Monteiro (a name he tells women is Portuguese for “beautiful hunter”) for a matter of weeks when he knocked me to the floor of my apartment, sat on my back and tried to smother me.
I lived in a nice neighbourhood and when screamed for help I expected to hear the sirens, I expected to hear someone knock on my door to ask if I was alright. I was so shocked when no one came to help me.
Before that, he had cut me off from my friends, hid my phone and keys, bombarded me with phone calls at work until I lost my job. He once put sugar in my petrol tank.
Somehow in my apartment, I managed to escape, but I was too scared to press charges. Instead, I went into hiding under police supervision.
That was back in 2003.
It might not sound like it, but it turned out I was one of the lucky ones.
Five years later, another woman came forward. Monteiro had assaulted and raped her while holding a pair of scissors. He’d smashed a pair of glasses on her face, pulled a clump of her hair out, threatened her with iron bars and told her he would “gut her dad like a fish” if she ever went to the police.
Despite these threats, she was brave enough to press charges and Monteiro was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
I later found out he’d seduced, manipulated and abused a string of women across Sydney.
He’d previously been jailed for stalking and intimidating one partner, and had been charged with for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and destroying the property of another.