The deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three kids was perhaps the most disturbing example of Australia’s domestic violence epidemic.
The deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three kids was perhaps the most disturbing example of Australia’s domestic violence epidemic.

Domestic violence is all around us, we cannot ignore it

THERE was a renewed bitterness to learn in the Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday that yet another man with an abhorrent history of violence and committing it in a domestic setting will be out of jail in a month.

That man’s latest offending seemed especially sickening when it was summarised in court by Magistrate Chris Callaghan.

Admittedly that’s because of last week’s horror at Camp Hill, where Rowan Baxter murdered his ex-wife Hannah Clarke and their three small children in a sinister and cowardly fashion.

Hannah Clarke and her three children were murdered at Camp Hill last week.
Hannah Clarke and her three children were murdered at Camp Hill last week.

The Gympie man’s vile actions do not match Baxter’s, but he went on to produce a knife and wave it around in public after a bar fight in separate offences, under two months after his DV breach.

His victims must be living in constant fear. How could they possibly know what he might do next?

We cannot let this latest horrifying national flashpoint at Camp Hill go by without recognising that domestic violence takes many forms, and is not just physical.

Nine months’ jail with release after three for a violent man who clearly does not want to learn his lesson sounds grossly short.

How do we go about fighting this issue? I don’t know, I can’t pretend I have all the answers. The only one I can offer is that our society needs a complete and united cultural shift in its attitudes toward domestic violence, and all topics branching off it.

Not only for Hannah Clarke and her kids, but for the one woman killed here every week, and for all victims, female or male.