This post deals with domestic violence and might be triggering for some readers.
Last night, on my phone, I saw a little girl’s face. You saw her, too.
The same baby’s face, everywhere you look today.
One girl’s name. One girl’s gummy smile.
Nine-month-old Kobi Shepherdson lived in South Australia. Her parents were separated. Reportedly, they shared custody. The police say there was a “history of domestic violence” in the family. Little Kobi’s father had been before the courts in relation to family violence and breached intervention orders.
On Wednesday, hours after one of these court appearances, Kobi’s father strapped her to his chest in a baby carrier and jumped off a dam.
Kobi’s family have asked for privacy, beyond releasing a few photographs of her to the police to be shared in her memory.
WATCH: The "new face" of domestic violence in Australia. Post continues after video.
They are the kind of photographs loving parents have of their children. Kobi is smiling. She has a tiny bow in her hair in some. In others, she’s lying on a photogenic blanket, eyes to the camera, her face wide and open and clear, the way that baby’s faces are. She is, of course, so beautiful. The way that babies are.
The enormity of this tragedy isn’t easy to grasp. Kobi’s mother’s unfathomable loss. The trauma of the bystanders who saw what happened. The bravery of those who tried to intervene, and those who tried to save Kobi.