When a woman is killed by a man she loved, Australia continues to turn away.

Two grisly deaths in two weeks. Two lives lost. Two more women who should have, could have been protected.

Trigger Warning: This post deals with issues of domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.

When a man kills a woman at home, it’s easy to ignore. It’s behind closed doors. Police officers, neighbours, journalists, even some friends and family, instinctively consider it a private matter.

But when a woman is slaughtered in front of strangers on a Melbourne street corner, or thrown off a high-rise balcony in the Sydney CBD, it’s not so easy to ignore. It’s bloody, devastating proof of the domestic violence epidemic in Australia.

The same goes for residential streets and public car parks. When a woman’s corpse is found on public property, we’re forced to confront what happened. There is no door to close. We have to pay attention to the public murders, even though the most dangerous place for a woman in this country is actually inside her own home.

Another week, another brutal murder we should have prevented.

Where there is a public crime scene, there is media attention.

On Friday the 9th January, 23-year-old dancer Nikita Chawla was allegedly stabbed to death by her husband, 29-year-old Parminder Singh. Reports say he used her phone to send a text message, which apparently confirmed his suspicions that she was having an affair. They were reportedly seen near their West Brunswick apartment block.

On Saturday the 17th January, 26-year-old Leila Alavi was allegedly stabbed to death by her estranged husband Mokhtar Hosseiniamraei, against whom she had an AVO. She was found in her Holden Astra, in a car park near the hairdressers where she worked. Leila was living in a women’s refuge at the time of her death, having taken an Apprehended Violence Order against her husband – presumably scared of the exact fate she met.

Estranged husband allegedly breached AVO to murder Leila Alavi. 

RIP Leila Alavi.

Both Nikita and Leila died in horrific circumstances. Their families will mourn their deaths and remember them as beautiful, strong, courageous young women. That is their role here.

Our role, as strangers, is to keep fighting for change.


Domestic violence orders, AVOs, intervention orders – whatever you call them, here’s how to get one.

It would be emotionally convenient to think that Nikita and Leila died in strange, rare circumstances. But they didn’t. They died in the single most likely way for a woman to die in Australia: as a victim of a man they once trusted.

Leila Alavi with her estranged husband, who has been charged with her murder.

How many more scared, vulnerable women have to die before we make protecting them a priority? How many vicious men will kill, maim and injure their partners before the government declares domestic violence a national emergency?

The single most dangerous thing to be in Australian society is a woman. A young woman, an Indigenous woman, a homeless woman, a poor woman, a married woman, a single woman. Until we change that fact, we are not a civilised society.

A female life is worth as much as any other, and until we honour that, we are failing half our population.

Those of us in the media have a responsibility to shine a light on domestic violence until it becomes a national priority. Here at Mamamia, we will continue to publish alarming statistics and horrifying victim’s stories until someone at a federal level says enough is enough.

We will not stop until every woman is safe in her own home and safe from the people she loves.

We will not stop.

In the name of all these women, we will not stop:

If you believe you may be an abusive partner, you can receive help via Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277. If you have experienced, or are at risk of domestic violence or sexual assault, you can receive help by calling 1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732. If you are in immediate danger please call the police on 000.

For more help, please see these posts:

This is what emotional abuse looks like. 

If your friend is receiving abusive text messages, show her this. 

How to get an AVO. 

6 surprising ways to combat domestic violence.