Trigger Warning: This post deals with issues of domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
Another week, another woman allegedly murdered by a man she loved.
Another woman we’ve failed to protect.
A 33-year-old woman has reportedly been stabbed to death, by a man who was allegedly her former partner. In broad daylight. In full view of horrified strangers in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine. She’d literally just stepped out a woman’s refuge centre when she was ambushed, leaving her body limp on the side of the road.
The 38-year-old man who is allegedly involved turned himself into police this morning, after running from the scene. He has been charged by homicide detectives this afternoon and is due to appear in court today.
The man, who is yet to be identified publicly, was known to the police because the woman has lodged complaints about domestic violence before and the couple were in the middle of a legal dispute. The police knew him as an alleged violent abuser and yet he was able to walk the streets, allegedly get hold of a large fishing knife, trail his partner, approach her in public during the day and take her life in the most violent way imaginable.
But she’s not just a woman who has been killed, allegedly by a former partner. She’s the victim of a legal system that failed her. She’s the victim of a government that would rather spend money setting curfews for drunk nightclub visitors than respect its duty of care to women in danger.
This woman’s death was senseless, violent and abhorrent.
It was also preventable. And that’s what takes my breath away.
It makes anger catch in my throat, it puts rage in my belly, it stops my heart beating every time I think of it. Had the police kept this violent man in custody or better protected this woman, she would be alive. Her children would have a mother.
Now she’s known to the police because she’s the body they have to remove from the street. She’s famous now, this woman, because she died in public. But until her death, she was just another woman forgotten by the system, neglected by the government, in constant danger of a violent partner who should have been in gaol.