Aussie mum Lisa* was betrayed by her husband in the most agonising way.
Here, Lisa, tells the story in her own words.
M￼aking a pen, I scrawled on a $5 note, Lisa loves Trent*.
At 15, I wouldn’t dare tell him. We were just mates.
Besides, Trent was spoilt for choice – all the girls in our grade had a crush on him!
After graduating from high school, I moved away and we lost contact.
Falling in love with Bill*, we went on to have three beautiful girls together.
After we broke up, I put on a brave face for our daughters, Poppy*, then five, Eva*, four, and Milly*, three.
I’d been single for a year, when, on a whim, I decided to search for Trent on social media. Now 25, I hadn’t seen him since I was 17. Fancy meeting you on here! I typed.
I’d know those sparkly blue eyes anywhere! he replied.
When Trent shared that he too was single, I felt a spark.
Meeting face-to-face two weeks later, Trent’s eyes lit up when he saw me.
‘You’re stunning – you haven’t changed a bit!’ he exclaimed.
When I introduced him to my tiny trio a couple of months later, they loved him.
Five years after we reunited, Trent proposed.
‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you and be the girls’ dad,’ he said.
My babies jumped up and down with excitement when we broke the news.
Marrying later that year, Poppy, 11, Eva, 10, and Milly, nine, made gorgeous flower girls.
One day, we were at the park when Eva scared me half to death chatting to a strange man.
‘He invited me to his house,’ she said innocently.
Terrified, I asked the police to come around to talk to my girls about stranger danger. Trent was there too.
‘You’ve got to listen to the officers and your mum,’ he said.
A year after we’d married, I went away for work. Video calling my family over the next fortnight, the girls were their usual bubbly selves.
The next couple of years passed in a blur of domestic bliss.
Then, finishing work early one Saturday afternoon, I got home and bumped into Trent in the hallway. He seemed a bit flustered.
Well, he has been with three kids all day! I thought.
Thankfully, we had time to relax on Sunday.
After a lazy day watching movies, Eva, then 13, hopped in the shower.
‘Mum, is Eva allowed Instagram?’ Milly, 12, asked, glancing at the iPad her big sister had been using. ‘No...’ I said, having a look. Clicking on the message icon, I felt sick.
Eva had been privately messaging her friend. Trent makes me feel so uncomfortable! she’d written.
Walking into the kitchen, I confronted my husband.
‘Why does Eva feel uncomfy around you?’ I asked him.
Avoiding my eye, Trent stalked out to the bathroom.
‘Come out and talk to me, Eva,’ he said in a sweet voice tinged with menace.
Scrolling through more messages, my legs turned to jelly. He touched my private parts... one said.
‘Did you touch her?’ I demanded.
‘Oh, I must’ve accidentally when I was swinging my arms around,’ he fumbled. I read on with disgust.
He made me take my knickers off yesterday, my sweet baby had shared. Bile rose in my throat.
‘Get out of my house now!’ I screamed. ‘Nobody has to know,’ Trent babbled. ‘I love you.’
The monster had the gall to ask me to keep his crime a secret.
‘You’re safe – it’s not your fault,’ I soothed Eva, wrapping her in a hug.
The next day, I took my baby to the hospital to get examined for evidence.
‘The detectives will be in touch,’ a doctor said, gently.
Afterwards, I sat down with Poppy, 14.
‘Did Trent ever do anything to you?’ I asked carefully. ‘Yes...’ she said.
She told me the first time he’d said, ‘If you let me touch your boobs, I’ll give you a can of Coke.’
When she refused, he’d say, ‘I’ll make your life hell.’ I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.
Shaking, I dialled the cops. It turned out that Trent had pounced while I was away for work that time.
Poppy and Milly had gone to bed and Eva, then 10, had fallen asleep on the couch.
When my baby woke up, he touched her breasts and made her masturbate him. Then, he digitally raped her.
‘It’s our little secret,’ he told her.
Another time, the predator had grazed Poppy’s breasts, and tried to convince her to touch his penis. And he’d tried to make Milly, then just 10, use a sex toy.
Horrifyingly, when I’d finished work early that Saturday, I’d interrupted him abusing Eva.
For nearly four years he’d been abusing all three of my innocent girls.
I’d worried about strangers when the real monster was lurking inside our home.
In court Trent pleaded guilty to five counts of rape, six of indecent treatment of a child in his care and two of attempted indecent treatment of a child in his care.
In September 2017, Trent, 35, was sentenced to five years in jail. He’ll be eligible for parole after serving just 18 months behind bars.
In her impact statement, Eva said that every time I left her in Trent’s care, she’d scream inwardly, Please don’t leave me with this monster.
Now I’m doing everything in my power to help my brave girls move on. Together, we’ll find the way.
Read more in this week's issue of that's life, on sale now.
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the victims
If you are experiencing abuse or need help call 1800 737 732 (Aus) or 0800 044 334 (NZ).