Almost Bashed To Death With A Baseball Bat But Simone Lives
WARNING: This story contains information and themes that could be triggering for some people
In just ten minutes Simone O'Brien's life changed forever.
After calling off the relationship with her fiance earlier in the day, Simone broke the news to her two teenage daughters.
Then came a knock at the door.
At that moment the six foot man at the door was no longer just an 'ex-fiance' but a domestic violence 'perpetrator'.
In those next ten minutes Simone O'Brien's life flashed before her eyes. Her two daughters witnessed something no one, let alone two children, should ever see.
The perpetrator, who just days before was going to become a permanent fixture in their family, beat her to within an inch of her life with a baseball bat in a premeditated attack.
"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," Simone states on her personal website.
"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."
Before that day her ex-fiance had never raised a hand to Simone - his abuse was more subtle, manipulative.
And yet here she is. A survivor 6 years on and determined to re-live the pain of telling her story if it can help other women and men who may be victims of domestic violence.
Reminded of the incident with every glance in the mirror, every doctor's appointment.
Simone's strength and resilience is beyond words. And we spoke to her ahead of the Darkness to Daylight event, where she selflessly is serving as an ambassador.
Darkness to Daylight is a 110km walk raising money to stop domestic violence. 110km to pay tribute to the 110 lives lost to DV each year in our country.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or seeking advice you can contact 1800RESPECT. Or in an emergency call 000.