Police attend the scene of a domestic incident. Photo from
The Dunedin mothers of two women who nearly died at the
hands of their male partners still fear for the safety of their
The mother will never forget the sight of her daughter
battling for her life in Dunedin Hospital.
She been stabbed multiple times and, when the blade snapped,
a tomahawk was used, which exposed part of her brain.
Only as she started to recover did the mother discover what
had been going on behind closed doors.
''She wasn't allowed to have a life. She had left her job,
sold her car, wasn't allowed to visit friends in case males
were present, had her Facebook and textbooks vetted ... it
was totally controlling.
''He was just paranoid she was off doing something.''
The family now face the ordeal of regular parole hearings,
fearing one day the perpetrator will be back on the street.
The same fear is with another Dunedin mother, whose teen
daughter was beaten, choked and stabbed.
Before the incident, which continues to impact on her
daughter and family, she did not know much about the signs of
''I hadn't read about the Sophie Elliott case until such time
as it happened to my own daughter, and then you think: Oh my
gosh, why didn't I read up on this earlier.''
She supported more open dialogue about domestic violence,
particularly for adolescents.
Her daughter was also making progress but the family still
feared the eventual release of her attacker, she said.
''I am just grateful she is alive.''
A selection of domestic violence cases reported in the
Otago Daily Times in July-August this year.
July 16: A 22-year-old sentenced to eight months' home
detention followed by six months' postdetention conditions
for threatening to kill and intentionally injuring his
partner. Described by judge as ''a vicious assault resulting
in serious injuries''. Had been using synthetic cannabis.
July 16: A 41-year-old convicted of assaulting partner
with intent to injure after finding out about affair. Grabbed
and pulled his genitals, resulting in small cut and bleeding.
Remanded for sentencing on July 29.
July 16: A 54-year-old admitted assaulting partner
with intent to injure. Head-butted and punched her, pulled
out clump of hair, accused of having an affair. Remanded for
sentence August 21.
July 18: A 45-year-old admitted Summary Offences Act
assault on his partner on February 5 and assaulting a female
(his partner) and assaulting her with a cellphone on April
15. Convicted on all charges. Remanded for sentencing August
July 23: A 28-year-old sentenced to 41 months' jail
for three convictions for assault with intent to injure and
two of intentional damage. Punched, kicked, head-butted,
picked up and threw his partner over three occasions.
July 23: A 35-year-old sentenced to eight months'
jail for assault on a woman with whom he had previously been
in a relationship. Had previously been convicted of
assaulting the same woman.
July 23: A 27-year-old received four months' home
detention and 100 hours community work for assaulting
partner. Grabbed hair and rammed her against cupboards,
punched her twice and kneed her in the side while she was on
the floor. (Was also convicted of dishonesty offences.)
July 25: A 24-year-old got five months' home detention
for assault on former partner. He grabbed her hair and shook
head around while driving and slammed her arm in car door.
Six months post-detention conditions and compulsory
August 2: A 38-year-old struck partner twice in jaw
during drunken argument. 100 hours community work, nine
August 6: A 26-year-old drove car at partner in
supermarket car park, narrowly missing her. Followed her out
of car park and drove his car at hers, swerved at the last
minute. Sentenced to concurrent terms of four and five
months' home detention, $1605 reparation.
August 7: A 23-year-old sentenced to five years and
seven months' jail (non-parole period 3 and a-half years) for
intentionally causing grievous bodily harm. Beat partner so
severely her right eye had to be removed.