Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

A Terminally Ill Mother's Plea; Abused and Threatened, This Gympie Woman Has Not Seen Her Sons for Five Years

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

A Terminally Ill Mother's Plea; Abused and Threatened, This Gympie Woman Has Not Seen Her Sons for Five Years

Article excerpt

FRANCES KLEIN

Digital producer

frances.klein@gympietimes.com

DIAGNOSED with a brain tumour and told she had just one year to live is not the worst problem this Gympie mother of two has had to face.

She has been completely separated from her sons, aged 11 and 12, for the past five years following a long and toxic custody battle with her ex-husband.

The 39-year-old mother, we will call her "Christine", has been denied any access to the two people she loves more than anything in the world.

"When they left that courtroom I was petrified for them and was heartbroken for me," she said.

"I did everything possible to keep them safe."

Life with Christine's former partner began when she was just 12 years old. He was 21, a friend of her father's and took a shine to the shy, young girl.

At the age of 14 the sexual abuse began and two years later Christine found herself living with a man who was not only nine years her senior but whose "short fuse" put her in some of the scariest situations of her life.

She was pushed down the stairs, run off the road, both violent reactions to Christine not ironing his trousers to the requested number of creases or packing his work bag properly.

He once threw a coffee table at the wall when a cup of tea was served incorrectly, Christine said.

"He never punched me - he said it wasn't abuse because he never used his fists."

Then, after becoming a mother, something happened she could not excuse.

"He came in from work one day and was absolutely, obscenely verbally abusive," she said.

"When I got up to get the phone, he turned on the one-year-old.

"He hit him - he left a complete hand print across his rib cage," Christine said.

"At that point it was the end of it for me."

Christine left with her boys, but she lived in fear as a cloud of subtle abuse followed her, kicked off with the parting threat "If I can't have you - no one will. …

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