Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

A MOTHER'S WORST FEAR Keep Your Loved Ones Close: Mum; 'To Walk into a Hospital and See Your Daughter Just So Beat Up'

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

A MOTHER'S WORST FEAR Keep Your Loved Ones Close: Mum; 'To Walk into a Hospital and See Your Daughter Just So Beat Up'

Article excerpt

Kara Sonter

IT WAS the one man this Gympie mother wishes she had never introduced to her daughter.

But by the time she found her daughter laying black and blue in a hospital bed, it was too late.

Everything started off perfectly between Cathy's daughter Natalie (their names have been changed for legal purposes) and Natalie's new boyfriend.

There was a little drug use in the mix, recalls Cathy, but ultimately her daughter was doing well.

Until around three months into the relationship Natalie, who was in her 20s, moved in with her boyfriend.

What came next was a mother's worst nightmare.

"After a very short time, around a week, she stopped answering phone calls when I rang, or the conversations were awkward," Cathy said.

"One day she came up with bruises on her neck," Cathy said.

"She said something like she walked into a door.

"You don't get to this age and believe that."

Cathy said it wasn't long before Natalie's boyfriend started getting violent.

"He'd do things like kick her car door.

"They had a fight in the car Natalie was driving one night and he took the keys from the ignition and threw them out the window.

"I had to come down and help her find the keys.

"He had left and we didn't know where he was.

"When we got home, he wasn't there.

"What we didn't know was that he was hiding out the back."

After that things only got more suspicious.

"I virtually couldn't speak to her," said Cathy, who was usually "best friends" with her daughter.

It was the look on Cathy's grandson's face, after staying with his mum Natalie and her partner, that told so much of the story.

"He would come back kind of disturbed," Cathy said.

Cathy said Natalie's boyfriend had a strong hold over her daughter. He was a jealous partner and controlling her.

The situation in Natalie's relationship peaked when she went to her work Christmas party.

That night would become the last time Natalie would go home to a violent house.

"She went to her work Christmas party against his wishes," Cathy said.

"She was getting bad text messages while she was at the party. …

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