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A MOTHER was lured to Brisbane from overseas, bashed and forced to work in a massage parlour by her abusive husband before being rescued by specialist police in the vulnerable persons unit.

Susan, a registered nurse, was forced to work in the parlour every day and thought she’d die at the hands of her new husband Steve who also refused to send her young son Jack to school.

While living overseas, she met him on an online dating site when she was 31 and thought he was charming and romantic before they married.

But Steve, who was from the same non-English background country as her, immediately changed after he lured her to Australia and falsely promised she could gain citizenship.

Details of the shocking case can now be revealed after the desperate woman got a friend to go to police and specialist officers in the North Brisbane District Vulnerable Persons and Domestic Violence Unit rescued her, took her to hospital, and arranged the man’s arrest.

Sergeant Jacqui Casson, Sergeant Roger O’Malia, Senior Sergeant Lee Wyld from the North Brisbane District Vulnerable Persons and Domestic Violence Unit. Picture: Steve Pohlner



VPU Senior Sergeant Lee Wyld said the man’s demeanour changed as soon as he picked up Susan from the airport.

“Susan was forced out to work the next day and instructed her son would remain at home with him,” she said.

“Steve promised he would enrol him in school soon.

“From that day on the next six months of Susan’s and Jack’s life were hell.”

But Jack was never enrolled in school and Steve controlled their lives including when and what they ate, the clothes they wore and even when they slept.

Susan took photos of her injuries and texted them to a friend, urging them to go to police.

Specialist officers in VPU then became involved and met with Susan and Jack.

Steve was arrested and the mother and son were taken to hospital for medical treatment.

Safe accommodation was arranged for the pair and they were issued an urgent protection order.

The mother and son were also given financial support from the Red Cross and food and taxi vouchers organised by VPU.

“Today Susan and Jack are healing from their experience,” Sen Sgt Wyld said.

“Susan has obtained employment in a local shop and has enrolled in English classes.

“Jack is enrolled in school and now fluent in English.”

Susan first met with police in February this year.

In a statement she said she thought she would die after the months-long abuse.

“The abuse got worse over time, and I didn’t report it myself, but after I reported it, I didn’t know what was going to happen, so I thought I’d be beaten to death,” she said.

Susan’s case is one of thousands the Queensland Police Service face every year.

Statistics from April this year, compared to April 2019, show domestic violence police call-outs increased by 13.3 per cent while contraventions of orders increased by 23.6 per cent.

The VPU was set up to help high-risk victims like Susan, with a focus on families facing violence.

The VPU aren’t first responders but work behind the scenes, forming relationships with victims while partnering with community and government agencies to make victims safer and offenders accountable.

Sen Sgt Wyld said the team had police officers and embedded specialist domestic violence workers who could support victims as they navigated what was often the most difficult time of their lives.

She said one of the agencies working with the police is the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service which last year had 4847 women with 1251 children contact them.

The service gave 67,026 instances of support and took 19730 phone calls from people wanting support. There were 158 men who attended their offender programs.

Susan is not the victim’s real name

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 

Originally published as Mum bashed, forced to work in massage parlour

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