Samurai attack victim pens ordeal

The woman attacked by her former boyfriend with a samurai sword at a Pipiroa property, north of Thames, is writing a book recounting her ordeal in an attempt to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

On January 21, 2003, Simonne Butler and friend Renee Gunbie were attacked by the now 39-year-old’s ex-partner Antoine Dixon.

Simonne’s arms were cut off in the attack, while Renee lost one of her hands. Simonne had both arms reattached by surgeons.

Following the attack on the two women, Dixon then drove a stolen vehicle to Auckland where he shot and killed James Te Aute at Highland Park in East Auckland.

Eleven years on from the incident, Simonne is writing a book about her ordeal. The book, titled Recalibrate, tells of the brave woman’s healing journey after her hands were severed and how its affected her life.

“It’s about fighting my way back from low self-esteem, lack of self-respect, physical violence, betrayal, humiliation and emotional abuse in relationship,” says Simonne on her website.

“It’s about childhood mothering issues; abandonment issues; date rape; abortion; anxiety and depression; fear of leaving my house; emotional eating and being overweight.”

Simonne also writes about regaining independence.

“It’s my life. The good, the bad, the shocking. It’s raw and graphic, funny and heart wrenching and true. So yes it is my little book of healing, but it is also about sex and drugs and violence and manipulation and control.”

Simonne says at first she began writing the book for herself as a record of what happened in a detailed diary she’s kept for more than 15 years. Now she is breaking the silence and sharing her experience of recovery in a bid to shine the light on domestic violence.

“I want to change the world, one person at a time,” she writes.

“Become the hero in your own healing journey. Take charge of your life, own your power, exorcise your demons and achieve your wildest dreams.

“If I can do it, so can you.”

In July 2008, Dixon was found guilty and was found dead in his prison cell from self-inflicted injuries one day before his sentencing on February 5, 2009.

On her website, Simonne admits she ignored all of the “warning signs” and began a relationship that she describes as violent, unbalanced, pathologically unfaithful, dishonest and controlling in her early 20s.

“I believed my love and compassion could change him. Little did I know.”

Simonne writes the physical healing of the attack was “easy” – but it was the spiritual curing she found more difficult.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was hard as f*** and felt like it took forever. S***loads of operations and hospital stays, side effects from medication, daily physio, scars for Africa, and pain, pain, pain.

“But compared to healing my fragmented spirit and calling all the parts of my soul home, it was a walk in the park.”

Simonne is now a qualified naturopath and an apprentice to a master shaman.

“I know my role here on earth is to be a way shower, a guide, a teacher, a writer, a healer and a shaman,” writes Simonne.

“As well as that I will lend my voice to those too afraid to speak up. I am passionate about bringing the discussions on domestic violence to the forefront.”

Simonne has set up a PledgeMe page to raise the estimated $70,000 needed to publish her book. Click here to view Simonne’s website and to donate.




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2 Comments

Children are victims too

Posted on 04-08-2014 12:32 | By Me Me Me

Be nice if whatever she makes from this book some of the proceeds are donated to James Te Aute’s children...just saying

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Posted on 03-08-2014 17:05 | By Spacenight

What an amazing woman!

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