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One young mother says it is time to reform domestic violence law.

A young mother beaten at the hands of her partner is calling for drastic changes to domestic violence laws.

Trigger warning: this article contains details of domestic violence and may be distressing for some readers.

One young mother has had enough.

“He punched me until I was unconscious, strangled me for days before my son was born, and again when I was seven months pregnant with my daughter…”

She has decided it is time to stop the cycle. End the violence and take a stand so that no other woman goes through what she has.

“[He] punched me in the face whilst my children screamed, terrified – we fled when my daughter was just 6 weeks old.”

Dani Keogh

Dani Keogh is demanding domestic violence law reform.

“My mind re-lives the fists, the choking and thinking I would die with my baby growing inside me, seeing my little boy hitting the ground in my home and his smashed up room. Living in fear and always looking over my shoulder.”

For this brave woman the time has come for change.

“I’m doing it because right now we have an opportunity to fix these laws leaving women at the mercy of domestic violence abusers.”

Dani Keogh, a mother of two spoke to the Nine Network’s A Current Affair about the on-going abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-partner, Michael Killeen.

Dani says he is still free.

She says that despite three convictions and 30 breaches of domestic violence orders Killeen is still free.

“He’s been convicted and sentenced three times, since first conviction in 2011 yet is on bail right now and hasn’t spent a day in jail. Despite charges of threat to kill, and threat to cause actual harm.”

A Current Affair revealed details of some of the voicemail message and text messages left by Killeen,

“Do you like the use of your legs?” he wrote.

“Let the games begin and the physical and psychological pain begin.”

She says she was terrified, even moving from Victoria to Queensland with her children to escape him.

Killeen who is currently on an 18-month good behaviour bond, after again threatening to kill her refused to talk to A Current Affair when confronted about the messages.

“I tried to leave, called the police, and showed up to court for trials. I cried as he walked out of court, after being found not guilty, as there wasn’t ‘evidence beyond reasonable doubt’, while he looked at me and laughed,” she writes.

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“The police ‘intervention orders’ didn’t stop him. They weren’t enforced and he found me at a safe house. Unbelievably, legal aid was offered to him so representing me was denied as a ‘conflict of interest’.”

So instead of relying on the court system to protect her Dani Keogh is looking to laws to be changed. She has begun an online petition demanding the state and federal governments act now to make a difference before more women are hurt, or worse, killed.

This week another woman died, allegedly at the hands of her partner. Her death brings the number of Australian women who have died at the hands of domestic violence or alleged domestic violence to 23.

The number of women killed each week by a partner or family member has almost doubled since last year.

We know that domestic violence is the single greatest killer of women aged between 15 and 44. Regardless of class, age, location, race or religion — every woman is at risk.

Dani Keogh’s petition calls on the state and federal governments to:

1. Create a law that says breaking a domestic violence order sends you to jail, with immediate effect.

2. Force domestic violence perpetrators to pay child support.

3. Allow family violence victims to move with their children interstate away from their perpetrators, so they can feel some kind of safety.

4. End the crippling debt for domestic violence victims by making legal aid free – and force Legal Aid to represent the victim over the perpetrator.

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty told A Current Affair that Dani’s story isn’t unusual.

“Dani’s story is so typical it’s horrifying,”

What really needs to happen is serious consequences right at the very beginning.”

And so far over 81,000 people agree that something needs to be done.

You can sign Dani’s petition here

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

For more:

Yet another woman has lost her life to alleged domestic violence. That makes 23.

How to get a domestic violence intervention order.

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