Allison Baden-Clay was murdered by her husband Gerard at their Queensland home in 2012.
In the months and years since Gerard’s arrest and 2014 murder conviction, Allison’s parents Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, and her sister Vanessa Fowler, have reflected on the signs her husband was abusive that they noticed, and regret not acting on.
Now, they’re sharing these signs as part of a Griffith University program designed to educate people on how best to talk to a loved one they suspect is in an abusive relationship.
The first warning sign: Allison’s decision to leave her job
By the end of her 15-year marriage, Allison had been isolated from her family and prevented from accessing her own money. But her family said the first sign they recollect is their career-driven loved one’s decision to become a stay-at-home mother.
“For me, (the first sign) was that she agreed to give up a highly successful career to have children when I knew and she knew that she could handle both,” Vanessa told The Courier-Mail at a Brisbane press conference on Sunday.
The family said they believe their daughter's decision to go back to work towards the end of her life may have contributed to her death as Gerard felt he was losing control.
When the Baden-Clay's eldest child, Hannah, was born, Vanessa said Gerard's "dominance" and "controlling" behaviour became more obvious to them. The aunt said she could see it in the way he tried to control Hannah, and that it was clear Allison had no say in their parenting decisions.
"One of Allison’s heartbreaks was that she couldn’t parent the way that she wanted to parent," she said.
The next sign, the family said, was Allison's isolation from them. Gerard banned her from speaking to her family, deleting their numbers from her mobile and blocking them from calling the landline. Allison told them it was that their landline was broken.
They said Gerard's control over her finances - giving her money only for groceries - became apparent when the Dickies saw her hand a credit card back to Gerard at a family gathering in Easter shortly before her death on 19 April. Around that time they also couldn't help but notice her badly worn shoes that she didn't seem to want to replace.
"It’s devastating to go from a woman who earned a lot of money and was in a high position to a person that never had (money) – I think she had $20 in the end," Geoff told the Courier Mail.
"What he did was bring her right down. From a well-educated woman to nothing. And that’s the way he wanted her."
Allison's parents didn't want to 'interfere'
A huge part of the message the Dickies want to get through to people via Griffith's MATE Bystander Program, offered to businesses as a workplace training course, is to shake the idea that we shouldn't "interfere" with other people's personal lives.
"From our perspective, we could see that there were small incidents happening and they were getting more frequent," Vanessa said.
"We would have interfered more, but in our day you didn’t interfere in a marriage. It’s just old school." Geoff added.
He told ABC that he thought that taking too much action may have made things worse for Allison.
"We knew Allison was strong and we thought, 'this is going to work out without our interference' so we didn't interfere, and we thought it'd work out but apparently it didn't."
That's not to say they didn't tell Allison she could stay with them if she left her husband - but they had also given her messages about marriage having its "ups and downs".
Now though, Priscilla and Geoff are raising Allison's daughters, Hannah, 16, Sarah, 14, and Ella, 11, to recognise early the warning signs of an unhealthy and potentially abusive relationship.
And to others, their message is simple: "No longer should you mind your own business."