A south-eastern suburbs man, left betrayed and with sexually transmitted diseases, is warning others not to fall for the same tricks he did.
In April 2010, someone he now knows as the “madam” of a brothel introduced him to a Chinese woman, whom he married later that year.
On New Year’s Eve in 2012, less than three weeks after she gained permanent Australian residency, she left him — with genital warts and herpes.
It was then the signs fell into place: her ready cash, her late nights “at the casino” , her two mobile phones and her “friendship” with the madam, who once lent her $2700 for one visa application.
“I obviously had feelings for the woman, and turned a blind eye to a lot of things,” he said.
Dr Lauren Hewitt, a lecturer at Curtin University’s School of Psychology, in Bentley, said although she could not comment about the victim specifically, she speculated on how the man could have been persuaded into marriage.
“We are more likely to be influenced by people whom we perceive to be credible, likeable, popular and attractive,” Dr Hewitt said.
“There is no ‘type’ of person who is susceptible to persuasion — we are all influenced by other people.
“We are less likely to be influenced when we know that someone is making a deliberate attempt to persuade us.”
The man’s screens for other diseases came back clear, but the HIV test result will take several weeks.
He is seeing a psychologist as he waits.
“It’s hit me pretty hard,” he said.
He confronted his estranged wife at her workplace recently.
“She couldn’t look at me,” he said.
“She said ‘I work full time for (the madam) now’.
I asked her why and she said ‘for the money’.”
He said he felt some compassion for his wife, whom he said was from a poor area, and other women in her situation.
“They get no respect and she probably had a hard upbringing,” he said.
“They see opportunities and take them, but they’re never really happy.
“They’re always playing roulette. It’s a very high-risk business, as I now know.”