A woman whose violent boyfriend threw a whisky glass in her face has shared the troubling love letters he wrote to her as a warning to other women stuck in abusive relationships.
Delia Fernandez was left with permanent scars following the domestic violence attack inside the apartment she shared with her then-boyfriend Julian Sebastiao in Parramatta, Sydney’s west, in May last year.
Ms Fernandez took to Instagram after Sebastiao, 23, escaped a jail sentence on Tuesday despite pleading guilty to common assault and grievous bodily harm.
The popular young food critic shared photos of a handwritten card Sebastiao had written her on their one-year anniversary – just ten days before the shocking attack.
‘They gaslight you and treat you like a Queen one day and the next they threaten you with suicide if you try to leave. There’s just no winning,’ she wrote alongside an image of the card.
‘It isn’t all name calling and aggression. They use words like these to confuse and manipulate you into staying. Everything he stated was true. I did bring all of the above to the table and I was a good partner.’
Pictured: Delia Fernandez is seen with stitches in her face after her ex-boyfriend Julian Sebastiao threw a whiskey glass at her head
Ms Fernandez shared a handwritten card to Instagram her former partner had given her for their one-year anniversary – 10 days before the shocking attack
Ms Fernandez also posted another card her then partner had given to her, accompanied by a warning to other women
She revealed how terrified she was of Sebastiao’s words because they were penned so close to the attack.
‘Yet it didn’t stop him attacking me when he didn’t get this way (or) thought he was going to lose me. These words scared me the most because this was given to me just 10 days before the incident,’ Ms Fernandez said.
Another card given to Ms Fernandez over Christmas was also posted to her Instagram, accompanied by a warning to other women.
‘They are consumed by their feelings and then blame you when you are the one hurt. Never allow this. You think it’s love girls but it’s not. If someone loves you they won’t do what these men do,’ she wrote.
‘It is so hard to leave because it’s a bunch of really high highs but then really low lows and they always remind you of the good times because it’s like a drug.’
Ms Fernandez and Sebastiao, who had been dating for just over a year, were lying in bed together on May 26, 2020 when she made a comment that angered him, Parramatta Advertiser reported.
‘He was saying of the whole male population, (not) one wanted to be my friend or family member, and said they saw me as a piece of meat and I laughed and said ”That’s how your brain works”?’ Ms Fernandez said.
The couple then began to discuss whether Ms Fernandez’s friends would find Sebastiao attractive.
Ms Fernandez is pictured with Sebastiao before the attack. The couple had been dating for just over a year
‘He was getting frustrated that I wasn’t getting jealous,’ Ms Fernandez said, adding that she is not an insecure person.
Ms Fernandez then made a joke about one of her boyfriend’s friends and Sebastiao became so enraged he grabbed her shirt and pushed himself on to her.
Ms Fernandez struggled to breathe as he leaned his weight on her chest.
Sebastiao eventually let go and began to pace around the couple’s dining area.
Ms Fernandez threw a TV remote control in his direction and Sebastiao hurled the 10cm tall glass at her head.
Ms Fernandez (right) was left with permanent scars following the domestic violence attack inside the apartment she shared with her then-boyfriend, Julian Sebastiao, in Parramatta, in Sydney’s western suburbs
Ms Fernandez made a joke about one of her boyfriend’s friends and Sebastiao became so enraged he grabbed her shirt and pushed himself on to her. He then threw the glass at her
She suffered a 5cm laceration to her left cheek, a 1.5cm cut to her left eyebrow and numerous superficial wounds after the glass shattered on her face.
The injury caused Ms Fernandez to bleed profusely.
‘I lost everything in one night. He was my only family. Within one night I had no face, no boyfriend, no family, no home. My home was a crime scene,’ Ms Fernandez said.
In the wake of the attack, Sebastiao refused to call an ambulance for his injured partner.
According to police facts, he instead took Ms Fernandez’s clothes off and put her in the shower to try and clean off the blood.
He later called his mum who advised he should phone for an ambulance.
The couple instead stayed at the apartment until Sebastiao’s mum arrived and she tried to clean Ms Fernandez’s wounds.
Sebastiao’s mum took Ms Fernandez to Westmead Hospital, while he was picked up by a friend.
Magistrate Rodney Brender said the level of domestic violence was ‘completely unacceptable’. Sebastiao (left) was convicted and sentenced to a 15-month intensive correction, to be served in the community
Ms Fernandez underwent surgery two days after the attack.
Sebastiao was sentenced in Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to common assault and grievous bodily harm.
Magistrate Rodney Brender said the level of domestic violence was ‘completely unacceptable’.
Sebastiao was convicted and sentenced to a 15-month intensive correction, to be served in the community.
Magistrate Brender also ordered him to pay a $700 fine and complete 200 hours community service.
Ms Fernandez has used her Instagram to document her recovery and speak out against domestic violence following the attack.
Ms Fernandez (pictured) has used her Instagram to document her recovery and speak out against domestic violence following the attack
‘Thank you to everyone for your constant love and support, you are all the reason I rebuilt my life from scratch in such a short amount of time,’ she wrote on an Instagram post in December.
‘I’ve accepted these scars and they are a constant reminder everyday of what we all came back from with strength.
‘There’s hope for all the ladies out there suffering in silence, we have so much life to live.’
Ms Fernandez also shared Instagram stories after her ex-partner was convicted.
‘This was confronting but I’m glad this nightmare is finally over,’ she wrote.
For domestic violence support, call 1800 RESPECT
For 24/7 confidential support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
DELIA FERNANDEZ’S SHARED HER STORY ON INSTAGRAM
Ms Fernandez showed how she went from being in a ‘perfect’ relationship to suffering permanent scars
Ms Fernandez has shared her story to Instagram to speak out against domestic violence and offer support to others who are suffering.
Ms Fernandez’s statement after the court case:
‘Meanwhile I’m very happy and at peace with the life I’ve rebuilt eight months later. I love my job, my apartment, my PTSD puppy and my friends.
‘I’m grateful for my recovery and I have accepted my scarring.
‘Everything that monster gave me I’ve given to myself ten times over with the help and support of my loved ones.
‘I have my spirit back and my friends look after me with such care and dedication with none of the stress or drama attached to it and that’s all I can ask for.
‘Ladies there’s such a great life waiting for you on the other end, there’s men that will love and appreciate you without violence and if you’re in a similar situation I urged you to take that step.
‘Grateful and blessed’.
Ms Fernandez shared a picture of the glass her former partner threw at her during the domestic violence incident