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Four women, two days. The article we don't want to write anymore.

This post deals with domestic violence and might be triggering for some readers. 

This week, Australia has learned of the deaths of four women in two days.

"This is the worst year we have seen for women and children experiencing domestic abuse in living memory," Hayley Foster, chief executive of Women's Safety of NSW, tells Mamamia in the wake of these deaths. 

It's not yet confirmed if all incidents were cases of family and domestic violence. But they were all women, killed by alleged violence. 

On Monday morning, we learned the name and face of Kobie Parfitt. 

Victoria Police said they believe the Ballarat woman, who has been missing since April, was murdered.

Kobie was a 43-year-old mother of four. She was last seen alive at a property in Hickman Street, Ballarat, on April 28 - the same day police believe she was killed. 

Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper says the police think there are people in Ballarat who know what happened to Kobie, but are yet to offer their information. They have also confirmed they have identified multiple people of interest. 

The news brought the 2020 death-count of women who have been killed by violence in Australia to 46, according to Destroy the Joint.

Kobie Parfitt was allegedly murdered on April 26. Image: 

Then, just after midday on Monday, emergency services arrived at a unit in Fairfield, Sydney. A neighbour had called triple-0 with a concern for welfare report. 

When police and paramedics entered the home on Nelson Street, they found a 42-year-old woman with stab wounds on the kitchen floor. She died at the scene. Her name was Samr Dawoodi. She was a Syrian refugee. She was the mother of three kids.

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Her husband, 60-year-old Salam Dawoodi, was arrested at the scene. Police have called it an alleged incident of domestic violence. 

Within hours, Salam Dawoodi was charged with the murder of his wife. NSW Police refused him bail, and he will today appear in Fairfield Local Court. 

Samr Dawoodi was the 47th woman to be killed by violence in Australia in 2020.

Watch: The hidden numbers of women and violence. Post continues below video. 


Video via Mamamia

At 1pm on Monday, across the border in Victoria, emergency services were called to a home in Melbourne's south-east. 

Upon arriving to the family home on the quiet suburban street at Narre Warren South, they found four injured people. A crime scene was established.

A 70-year-old woman and a three-year-old girl were transported to hospital with serious injuries.

A 42-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital with critical injuries to her upper body. It's understood she had been stabbed. She could not be saved. She died from her injuries. 

A 15-year-old male was arrested at the scene. He was treated in hospital under police guard, also with serious injuries. 

All parties were known to each other, police say.

The name of the 42-year-old woman is not yet known, but she is the 48th woman to die from violence in Australia in 2020

General view of the property where an assault took place yesterday in Narre Warren, in Melbourne. Image: AAP.

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At 11am on Tuesday morning, a woman in her 30s was found stabbed to death in the middle of a suburban road, near a children's playground, in Darwin. 

An hour later, police arrested a 34-year-old man at a nearby bus stop. He was placed in a white forensic suit and driven away in a police vehicle. 

He is yet to be charged, but the homicide is being described by detectives as a "serious tragedy."

The unnamed woman is the 49th woman to die by violence in Australia in 2020. 

The deaths of these women come during a particularly complex time.

Hayley Foster tells Mamamia the surge in family and domestic violence cases this year has been "frightening".

"In our most recent statewide survey of frontline domestic violence workers, 80 per cent said they had noticed an increase in the percentage of higher risk cases since the lifting of COVID restrictions.

"It's really quite frightening the number of cases coming through where perpetrators are resorting to more and more violent means to exert and maintain control over their partners and children. Anecdotally, we're seeing more strangulation, more use of weapons, more sexual assaults and more threats on women, children and even animal's lives."

Foster explains the issue is exacerbated by a lack of funding, with more than half of the services they surveyed in NSW saying they needed more resources to ensure victims of family and domestic violence can access critical support.

"The COVID pandemic, and the shadow pandemic of violence against women has really exposed the existing gaps in the service system and unfortunately all COVID relief funds are only being directed towards existing services and not addressing these critical gaps."

Those gaps, evidently, have deadly consequences. 

Four women. Two days. Killed because of violence against women.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home. 

Feature image: Facebook.


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