Trigger warning: This post contains themes some readers may find triggering.
The bruises around her neck said it all.
Before she even spoke to me, it was obvious the trauma this woman had been through. Just days before a White Ribbon rally in Beenleigh her husband had strangled her.
The recent introduction of a new offence of strangulation, which we know is a precursor to domestic homicide, meant that her husband had been charged and was in custody, giving her and her children precious time to ensure they could remain safe. [In April last year Queensland passed a new offence of non-fatal strangulation and suffocation. The act is known to be predictive of domestic homicide]
This new offence of strangulation is making a difference, and so far we have seen 798 people charged with the offence.
Sadly, stories like this are not uncommon.
Too many women across Australia face the horrors of domestic and family violence. For them, it isn’t a story, it is the reality of their daily lives.
This Mother’s Day there will be many families who spend the day grieving. And there will be too many mother’s marking the day without their daughters. Instead, their day will be filled with sadness, with questions of “what if”. Because far too many women are no longer with us to celebrate.
Every month on average one woman is killed in Queensland as a result of domestic and family violence. Taken by a partner or former partner. As a woman, a sister, a daughter and as the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence I am proud to be part of a government that is tackling this issue head on. It is, and must remain one of our highest priorities.
We have come a long way in a short time, we have reformed laws and increased services so when women do make that really tough decision to leave they know they aren’t facing the future alone. Quentin Bryce has said the pace of change in Queensland means “there is an unprecedented level of awareness of domestic and family violence issues within our community, and an escalating momentum towards action”. This is a good thing.