It is imperative that victims of domestic violence are told if their partner is being released from jail, former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty says.
Gold Coast mother Teresa Bradford was killed yesterday by her estranged husband while he was out on bail on domestic violence charges.
David Bradford, 52, had been in custody for assaulting and choking Ms Bradford in late November.
Ms Bradford’s close friend Karina Mason said she did not know Bradford had applied for bail in January until it had been granted.
“Someone contacted her to say ‘did you know that Dave’s been bailed?’ and she was none the wiser, she didn’t even know that there was a bail application in,” Ms Mason said.
“I remember speaking to her and said, ‘you need to go down to the police station, Teresa you need to find out what’s going on’.”
In Queensland it is not mandatory for victims of domestic violence to be told when alleged offenders have been bailed.
According to Queensland Police Service, current legislation provides an ability for the prosecuting agency to provide specific information to a victim including the notification of bail conditions, only where that information has been requested.
Ms Batty, who has been campaigning against domestic violence since her son’s death in 2014, said police should have notified Ms Bradford.
“It’s imperative that you’re kept abreast of changes,” Ms Batty said.
“It should be a given that we are making sure we are informed all of the time about risks to our safety.
“There’ll be a lot of people looking at what went wrong and it’s just too late, it’s too late.”
DV Connect’s Di Mangan said victims needed to be notified when a partner was being bailed.
“It’s about safety, her right to know is much more important than his right to privacy in this matter,” Ms Mangan said.
“I’m sure it does happen in many occasions but for some reason it didn’t happen on this occasion, I don’t know the explanation.”
Ms Batty said while the magistrate’s decision to grant bail was probably made with the best intentions, recommendations from police should be taken very seriously.