Tiffany had been a regular hotline client since 2002 before she and her 14 year old daughter came to Help & Shelter in 2004 for face-to-face counselling. They were being physically and psychologically abused by Phillip, Tiffany’s husband. Tiffany’s 17 year old son had already left home due to Phillip’s abuse.

When Tiffany and her daughter came to Help & Shelter, they both had black and blue marks about their bodies. Tiffany said that after she had got a job, her husband Phillip would normally check her bags and physically check her to ensure she was not having sex with anybody else while she was out. He would sexually assault her by inserting his finger into her vagina without her consent.

The abuse was so bad that Tiffany slept in a separate room. She even overheard Phillip telling someone on the phone that he was planning to poison her. She made reports of all the incidents to the police and eventually in May 2007, Phillip was charged and placed before the magistrate’s court for assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault.

With the help of Help & Shelter Tiffany obtained protection and occupation orders, the latter of which was granted subject to the home being split into two households. But Tiffany and her husband still had to share one bathroom area, and one day he slapped and sexually abused her. Tiffany applied for division of property and Phillip was charged for breaching the protection order and made to remove from the property. In 2008, Phillip filed for a divorce but it was granted in Tiffany’s favour. Whenever he saw her, Phillip would verbally abuse Tiffany and also started to spread rumours about her.

In 2009, Tiffany learnt that Phillip had died of a heart attack.