“What have we become, if we do not try to help each other when terrible things like this are happening?”
Warning: This item deals with domestic violence and includes a violent recount of an attack. It may be triggering for some readers.
“I love you,” she cried as he kicked her in the face.
“I love you,” she pleaded as he stomped on her stomach.
“I love you. Stop hitting me.” But he beat her with a stick, punched her stomach and jumped on his wife’s face four times.
She sat bleeding, naked in public as at least four people walked past.
But the assault and violence continued. For five hours while no body helped, no one spoke up, and not one called the police.
“I was angry with her because she went off with her cousin and drink with her. I want her to go home and sleep with me,” the husband said.
He had told his grandmother that he was going to “bash [his] wife”.
And so the assault continued.
After five long hours, he left her lying in her own blood.
The next morning when he went to find her she was dead. Still drunk, he sat weeping at her body until an hour later emergency services were called to help.
Her name is Terasita Bigfoot. She died in the Northern Territory’s Bagot Community on November 26, 2013.
She was 29 years old.
Her husband, Conway Stevenson, also aged 29, was sentenced yesterday over the attack. Stevenson, who has a history of domestic violence, was given 14 years – but will be eligible for parole in just eight.
Eight years in jail for a vicious five-hour attack.
In sentencing him yesterday, Justice Judith Kelly took the unusual step of allowing television cameras to relay the sentencing live to air. She said she wanted to highlight the insidious plague of domestic violence.
Justice Kelly also asked the family for permission to use the victim’s name, an unusual step as in Aboriginal culture as the name of the deceased is usually avoided because of cultural protocol.
“I intend using Terasita’s name, this is not intended to be disrespectful — she deserves to have a name and for someone to tell her story, “ Justice Kelly said.