WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains the name and images of a person who has died.
Her name was Noeline Dalzell.
She was 49 years old when she was killed in front of her three children, Paige, Zach and Olivia. Police allege Noeline was stabbed to death by her ex-partner, and the children's father, James Fairhall.
At the time, February 4 of this year, reports emerged of a woman who had been murdered inside her Seaford home. Speaking to The Age a neighbour said, "She was just yelling my name... Mick, call the cops."
For legal reasons, the woman's name or face could not be shared with the wider community.
For a moment, the story of the woman seen bleeding in her suburban driveway made local news. But then the details began to emerge. Ex-partner. Domestic violence. It was the rule, not the exception. Because what happened on that Tuesday in February is, statistically, relatively common. Every week a woman is killed in this country. Most by a man who was once meant to love them. Noeline was the sixth woman to be killed as a result of violence in Australia in 2020. And we were only 38 days in.
Watch: Women and domestic violence, the hidden numbers. Post continues below.
If that man who allegedly killed her had been a stranger, the story might've been treated differently. There would be vigils and tributes. Marches and statements from our political leaders. She would be a woman that Australia wouldn’t ever forget.
But when you’re killed by a current or previous partner, the word ‘innocent’ disappears. We no longer talk about ‘violence’. We refer to ‘domestic violence’. As though the particularities of violence are any different when it’s perpetrated by someone you know. As though anyone is more or less dead, depending on who killed them.